CEC's Commitment to Diversity
The Council for Exceptional Children is committed to actively encouraging not only membership, but the active engagement and leadership, of special educators from diverse groups in the association.
Diversity is very important when it comes to:
- understanding the changing environment from a broader perspective
- developing creative solutions to new problems
- understanding the client populations served by the organization and its members
- monitoring and strengthening programs and services
In our roles as educators, association members and staff, we must commit to treat each person with respect and dignity, in alignment with CEC's core values, and work to understand and value the characteristics and beliefs of those who demonstrate a wide range of characteristics.
CEC defines diversity to include race, ethnicity, culture, language, age, (dis)abilities, family status/composition, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious and spiritual values, geographic location, and country of origin.
CEC has a Diversity Committee, and a division that focuses on cultural and linguistic diversity. As well, there are a number of independent caucuses made up of CEC members focusing on various aspects of diversity.
In it's advocacy work, CEC is dedicated to ensuring students with disabilities and/or gifts and talents from diverse backgrounds receive high quality educational services. To achieve this goal, CEC works with both policy educators and legislators at all levels to develop programs, policies, and initiatives that promote:
- Educational practices that appropriately identify students from diverse backgrounds who receive special education and/or gifted services.
- Assessment practices that accurately reflect cultural differences.
- Education services that provide effective interventions for students from diverse backgrounds.
- An increase in the number of diverse teachers, administrators, and university faculty from diverse backgrounds.
- Professional development to improve the cultural competence of all educators.