Upcoming Events

Join us on Thursday November 21, 2019 in Springfield, MA!

Springfield Tower Square Hotel
2 Boland Way
Springfield, MA 01115

Complimentary Parking is available in the Tower Square Hotel Parking Garage. Please bring your ticket to the NECA registration table for validation.

Registration and Lunch Buffet 12pm-1pm
Conference 1pm- 4:30pm

Lunch buffet will include soup, salad, wraps, sandwiches, paninis, and a selection of desserts. We will have a mid-afternoon break with a light snack as well!

A rate of $109/night +tax is available at the Springfield Tower Square Hotel. Please call the hotel directly at 1-844-656-8641.


We are excited to welcome the following speakers:

Janet L. LaBreck

Title of Presentation: Pathways to Success Through Partnerships, Performance and Collaboration; Strategies for Reimagining Your Mission and Vision

This presentation places critical focus on identifying key strategies for engaging partners and promoting opportunities for increasing result-driven outcomes leading to more meaningful tools and resources designed to reimagine your mission and vision. Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation www.fidelco.org will participate in this presentation to provide valuable information to consider when encountering individuals requiring a service animal as part of their return to work plan. Service animals play an important role in promoting safety and independence in the home, work place and community. The audience will have the opportunity to meet and greet several service dogs in training during the presentation. Please inform your conference coordinator if you have an allergy to dogs. Photos are welcome!

About the presenter: In February of 2013, President Barack Obama announced some key administration posts, including his intent to nominate Janet L. LaBreck, known as a national thought leader and key note presenter as the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), within the United States Department of Education. In August of 2013, LaBreck was confirmed by the United States Senate as the Commissioner of RSA. RSA was established to provide leadership and resources to assist state and other agencies providing vocational rehabilitation services (VR) to individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment, independence, and integration into the community and workforce.

Under her leadership, LaBreck was responsible for promulgating the most substantive regulation changes to the Vocational Rehabilitation program in over 15 years. She began her 27-year career with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) where she served as Commissioner during the last six years of her appointment by Governor Patrick until her transition to Washington, D.C. She is also the recipient of numerous awards and honors including an Honorary Doctoral Degree from New England College of Optometry (NECO) for her innovative partnership which resulted in the establishment of a mobile eye care clinic for individuals with low vision conditions. In 2017, NECO dedicated the Janet L. LaBreck Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation clinic in her honor in recognition of her commitment and dedication to the field of blindness. Most recently, LaBreck has established Janet L. LaBreck Consulting LLC in addition to becoming the Founder of Synergy Consulting Partners.   

Abigail O’Connell

Title of Presentation: The Impact of Paid Family and Medical Leave laws on Disability Insurance

About the Presenter: Abigail O’Connell is senior counsel at Sun Life Financial, advising Sun Life’s Group & Voluntary business on legal issues related to the Sun Life Absence & Disability Management Solutions offered to employer Clients. She frequently speaks at industry conferences about legal and compliance issues related to absence management. Some of Abigail’s recent speaking engagements have included:

  • 2015, 2016 and 2017 Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) Annual Conference
  • 2017 Greater Philadelphia Association of Health Underwriters Conference
  • 2018 Annual Association of Corporate Counsel Conference
  • 2019 Human Resource Management Association (HRMA) Paid Family and Medical Leave Panel

She is a graduate of Colgate University and Suffolk University Law School.

We will be presenting awards for the highest ALHC scores of 2019 during this conference.