Sharon Heddle

Executive Director


Sharon Heddle began her profession working at a casino for 15 years as an Accountant before changing career paths.  She began attending advocacy workshops to assist two close family members in advocating for benefits and appropriate educational supports. In 2012 an opportunity arose for Sharon to work as an Advocate at DNEC.  Sharon has been working with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program since 2016 preparing income tax returns.  Through her hard work and dedication, she moved to the position of Executive Director in 2016. 


Sharon is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist and a CHOICES Counselor.


Brynn Hickey

Program Director


Brynn received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut. She is a RID certified ASL interpreter who has worked in the field of deafness since 2001.  Brynn oversees the Independent Living Services, Deaf Services, Interpreting Department and is an advocate for deaf, hard of hearing, blind and low vision consumers. She began working at DNEC in 2007 and was promoted to the position of Program Director in 2019.


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Amy Dudek

Customer Service Advocate


Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Applied Social Relations from Eastern CT State University.  Her previous work experience incorporates interacting with a variety of populations, including seniors, children, and individuals with special needs.  As an advocate for DNEC, Amy is dedicated to assisting consumers in reaching their goals for maintaining independent living within their community.   Amy is a Certified Community Resources Specialist for Aging and Disabilities and is a CHOICES Counselor.

Danielle Guy

Deaf Services Advocate & ASL Instructor


Danielle has been an Advocate at DNEC since 2018.  She came to DNEC after working for the ARC of Eastern CT for 10 years as a Life Skills Instructor.   Dani is Deaf, with bilateral cochlear implants, and graduate of ASD in West Hartford, CT.  Not only does Dani work as an Advocate with Deaf and Hard of Hearing consumers, but she also teaches our Community ASL classes, our Customized Provider classes, and does Deaf Awareness presentations.

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Gabby Findley

Covid-19 Response Advocate


Gabby attended the University of West Florida with studies in the healthcare industry. Gabby started working at DNEC in 2018 and assumed a variety of positions include General Advocate, Job Coach, Admin, and COVID 19 Response Advocate.   Prior to DNEC she worked as a medical office assistant and had the opportunity to help those in need of aid. With that background she became fully devoted to assisting those with disabilities within their community.

Kim Smith



Kim began working at DNEC in 2020 as a General Advocate.  As a mother of four boys – 3 Eagle Scouts and one well on his way to reaching this goal - Kim has been a consistent volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America since 2003, holding many different leadership roles.  Kim worked in the school system as a paraprofessional and as a school bus driver for several years.  It was in these roles that Kim realized her passion for helping others.

Coming Soon
Coming Soon

Jessica Castillejo



Jessica started working at DNEC in 2021 and is currently attending Eastern Connecticut State University to earn her bachelor’s degree in sociology.  Jessica has experience working at local non-profit agencies as a job coach and care coordinator.  Jessica loves her role as General Advocate and helping to educate and assist consumer with disabilities. 

Alyson Dolan

Deaf Services Advocate


Alyson is a Deaf Services Advocate at DNEC.  She works with our deaf consumers, helping them to achieve their goals, guiding them through the benefits process, and helping assemble documentation, among many other things.  Alyson facilitates our weekly Deaf Social Hour and is an instructor for a virtual ASL class held by a non-profit for their clients.

Coming Soon