The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, advocates for individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.

Core Values

  • Dignity and worth of all individuals.
  • Diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Advocacy and social justice.
  • Professional excellence, integrity, and accountability.
  • Full participation in society.
  • Effective individualized education.
  • Family engagement.
  • Collaboration and community.
  • Responsibility to members.


The Council for Exceptional Children is an international community of professionals who are the voice and vision of special and gifted education. CEC's mission is to improve, through excellence and advocacy, the education and quality of life for children and youth with exceptionalities and to enhance engagement of their families.


The Council for Exceptional Children is a premier education organization, internationally renowned for its expertise and leadership, working collaboratively with strategic partners to ensure that children and youth with exceptionalities are valued and full participating members of society. As a diverse and vibrant professional community, CEC is a trusted voice in shaping education practice and policy.

Services Provided

  • Professional development opportunities and resources
  • 17 divisions for specialized information
  • Journals and newsletters with information on new research findings, classroom practices that work, federal legislation, and policies
  • Conventions and conferences
  • Special education publications


Teachers, administrators, students, parents, paraprofessionals, related support service providers.

Population Served

All aspects of the education and development of students with disabilities and/or those who are gifted.