Policy & Advocacy

About CEC's Public Policy

CEC works to improve public policy affecting children and youth with disabilities and gifts and talents, their parents and the professionals who work with them, at all levels of government. 

In advocating on behalf of children with exceptionalities, CEC examines policy issues, develops appropriate responses to those issues and influences local, state, provincial and federal legislation. CEC also monitors and makes recommendations for program regulations and funding. In addition, CEC maintains a network of state unit and special interest division advocates for influencing policy. 

CEC is the recognized leader in advocacy for special education policy. CEC has a long history of success in impacting policy and legislation in the special education, gifted and talented and general education areas. CEC played a large part in developing the predecessor of today's IDEA, then known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (PL 94-142). This law established the right to a free, appropriate public education for children with disabilities.

CEC's Policy on Public Statements for Units and Special Interest Divisions

All official units and divisions in good standing of the Council for Exceptional Children will send all public statements to CEC’s Board of Directors and/or the officers of the organization for review and comment prior to the release of said statement. Further, if the Board of Directors feels that such statement is not aligned with the mission of the organization and/or its policies and practices, and, thus, is not in agreement with the statement, but the division and/or unit choses to issue the statement anyway, it will note in the statement that it does not reflect the views of the Council for Exceptional Children.

The following language must be included in the statement

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and information expressed in this statement by [INSERT NAME OF UNIT/DIVISION] do not reflect the official policies or positions of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).


Policy Insider

Learn about the special and gifted education issues Congress and the administration are considering by reading CEC's Policy Insider. Sign up today to receive weekly e-mail updates!

CEC Policies and Positions

CEC's policies and positions define a particular problem, issue or need and address important and timely policy issues relevant to special and gifted education.

CEC Action Network

CEC’s Children and Youth Action Network (CAN) is an organized group of volunteers who are dedicated to helping advance policy affecting students with disabilities and gifts and talents.