Policy and Advocacy
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) advocates on behalf of children with exceptionalities 365 days a year.
In doing so, 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.
Our Policy Agenda
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!
Use CEC's Legislative Action Center to take action on a number of legislative issues by filling out your information and sending a letter to your Members of Congress.
Find out how you can advocate for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with exceptionalities and the professionals who support them 365 days a year.
Special Education Legislative Summit
Held each July in Washington, D.C., our Special Education Legislative Summit (SELS) is an opportunity for educators across the country to make a difference by advocating for change with Members of Congress.
Child and Youth Action Network
CEC’s Children and Youth Action Network (CAN) is an organized group of volunteers dedicated to helping advance policy affecting students with disabilities and gifts and talents.
Our position statements help guide the work of CEC's policy efforts as we continue to serve as a leading voice for the field of special education.
CEC highly values the power of coalitions to bring a collective voice to pressing policy priorities. That's why we are an active member of the following coalitions.
What We're Doing in the Field
For more information on getting involved our policy and advocacy work, contact Kuna Tavalin, CEC’s Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor.
Public Statement Endorsement Process for Divisions and Units
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) values and seeks diverse and inclusive participation within the field of special education and acknowledges the expertise of each CEC Unit and Special Interest Division. In demonstrating that expertise, Divisions may occasionally issue public statements on policy or potential policy issues and must follow the CEC Public Statement Endorsement Process.
As a leading advocate for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and/or gifts and talents, CAN Coordinators play an integral role in advancing federal policy. CAN Coordinators support CEC policy initiatives by building a strong grassroots network capable of effectively communicating policy priorities. Each Unit and Division has a CAN Coordinator.
CAN Coordinator responsibilities include:
- Development of an effective network of advocates at the state and local level
- Regular communication with the network to keep members informed about policy and advocacy
- Activation of the network for CEC calls to action via our online letter-writing campaign tool, the Legislative Action Center
- Attendance and participation in CEC policy and advocacy webinars and events
- Attendance at CAN trainings offered virtually and at the annual convention, if in attendance
An effective CAN network is pivotal to making progress on Capitol Hill, in federal agencies, and in state government by elevating the voices of the special education profession to connect lawmakers with local experts.