​   ​​The New England Consortium  on Deafblindness  (NEC)

                                                       A Deafblind Community of Practice

                              Serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont

Children who have combined vision and hearing loss (deafblindness) require specialized supports and instruction.
•The term “deafblind” encompasses a continuum of sensory abilities, from mild to profound levels, including progressive conditions and vision/auditory processing disorders. 
•Children who are deafblind have highly individualized “vision” and “hearing” conditions and not simply the combination of the two.  *   
•Developing language/communication skills should be a top priority in every child’s educational plan. 
•Parents of children who are deafblind benefit from access to specialized resources, information and support regarding their child’s overall development.
•Parent involvement is integral to educational planning for a child who is deafblind and critical to NEC’s training and consultation.
•Sensory loss has the potential to impact ALL areas of development and should be a primary consideration in program planning, services, and supports.

•Deafblindness is a disability of access.  Therefore, instruction should focus on facilitating access to visual and auditory information, connections to the general education curriculum, expanded core curriculum, and development of essential life skills. ?
•Regardless of severity, children with combined vision and hearing loss should be educated in the least restrictive environment*.  If appropriate services are not available at the local level, out of district options should be explored by the district. (IDEA citation)  **New Wording?
•Service delivery should be determined by the needs of the child to maximize learning and not on perceptions for potential growth, or availability of service providers.
•Early identification and referral of children who have combined vision and hearing loss or at-risk is critical in connecting families and service providers to resources and supports.  *
•Transition planning for students who are deafblind (ages 14-21) requires early involvement of agencies connected to hearing and vision supports for adults. 

Person-Futures Planning (PFP) is an essential process for supporting student and family involvement, fostering independence, developing critical life skills, and engaging related agencies early enough in the process to achieve transition goals.
•Service providers, particularly TVIs, TODs, PT/OT, SLPs, require training and expertise in evidenced-based practices for learners who have combined vision and hearing loss.
•NEC members value opportunities for learning together, collaborating about challenging issues, and developing strategies that result in improved outcomes.  Learning together, supporting each other, and committing to achieving NEC’s goals are required values for all members engaging in our four state consortium. 

•NEC’s Motto:  Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much (Helen Keller)


                                                         NEC Brochure


NEC's Basic Beliefs and Values