About Us


NDC is a technical assistance and dissemination center funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Our mission is to support postsecondary outcomes for individuals who are deaf, deafblind, deafdisabled, hard of hearing, or late deafened. NDC activities draw on evidence-based strategies to educate and engage with stakeholders across the nation. We seek to create conditions for optimal success in a way that recognizes and honors the experiences, perspectives, and strengths of deaf individuals (see below for a discussion of terminology).

The NDC model for change includes impact across the system. NDC seeks to (a) Collect critical data about policies, programming and service provision for deaf individuals; (b) Increase accessibility of post secondary settings; (c) Promote high expectations for success of deaf individuals; (d) Strengthen community communication, investment, and networks; and (e) Develop collaborative and integrated systems within states, institutions, programs, and communities.

NDC emphasizes a collaborative model with organizations that have proven excellence in their respective fields. NDC is proud to partner with WestEd, University of Minnesota, University of Kansas, American Institutes for Research, as well as over 60 consultants across the country.

National Deaf Center Staff

Stephanie Cawthon, Director

Carrie Lou Garberoglio, Associate Director

Jackson Busenbark, Marketing and Communications Director

Summer Crider Loeffler, Media Development Coordinator

Andrés “Flash” Otalora, Senior Videographer

Sammi Shupe, Media Development Assistant

Jennifer Higgins, Model Dissemination Coordinator

Bobby Loeffler, Access Coordinator

Tia Ivanko, Technical Assistance Specialist

Kathy Schwabeland, Technical Assistance Specialist

Stephanie Zito, Technical Assistance Specialist

Lauren Kinast, Technical Assistance Specialist

Laura Dodson, Outreach Coordinator

Lisa Guerra, Community Engagement Coordinator

MJ Kielbus, Social Media Specialist

Frank Griffin, Gaming Coordinator

A Discussion of Terminology

NDC is using "deaf" in an all-inclusive manner, to include people who may identify as Deaf, deaf, deafblind, deafdisabled, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and hearing impaired. NDC recognizes that for many individuals, identity is fluid and can change over time or with setting. NDC has chosen to use one term - deaf - with the goal of recognizing experiences that are shared by all members of our diverse communities while also honoring all of our differences.

History of Funding

In 1996, the US Department of Education funded four regional centers collectively known as Postsecondary Educational Programs Network (PEPNet). For the 2011-2016 cycle, the four regional centers were changed to one national center and took on the name pepnet2. pepnet 2 broadened its mission to include all postsecondary options for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. For the current cycle, we have changed the name to more directly reflect the mission of the center, the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes. The current cycle is funded by the Research to Practice Division, Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education via Cooperative Agreement #H326D160001. Funding is provided from January 1, 2017 - December 31, 2021.