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About Us

CEC Leadership Institute

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the success of children and youth with disabilities and/or gifts and talents.


    CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice. CEC is known as THE source for information, resources, and professional development for special educators.

    CEC has local Units in all 50 states and Canada, as well as 18 optional Special Interest Divisions focused on a specific topic, specialty area, role, or exceptionality. We also have CEC Student Chapters at hundreds of colleges and universities.

    Two woman and a man in conversation at a conference

    CEC's Mission Statement

    The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is a professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities through advocacy, standards, and professional development.

    CEC Bylaws

    View CEC's bylaws and proposed revisions.

    View Bylaws


    Strategic Plan Goals

    • Goal 1: Educators will be highly competent professionals entrusted to provide quality instruction that will enable all students to pursue their full potential.
    • Goal 2: CEC will have the capacity and capabilities to lead the field of special education in advocacy, standards, and professional learning and practice.

    Approved Oct. 2019

    Contact Information

    From becoming a member to assisting with your membership, groups, event registrations and book orders, we’re here to help.

    Customer Service Center

    Our Founding & History

    Elizabeth Farrell

    The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) was organized by a group of educators attending the summer session at Teachers College, Columbia University, and their faculty members on August 10, 1922. The Council began with 12 members. Elizabeth E. Farrell was the Founder and first President from 1922-1926.

    Current PresidentDennis Cavitt, Ed.D.
    Executive DirectorChad Rummel, M.Ed., CAE

    100 Happenings Our First 100 Years

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