Giving to CEC – Message from a Member of the Elizabeth Farrell Society
Why am I committed to giving to CEC? The simple answer is this: It’s because CEC gives so much—to the field; to all its members, including me as a special education professional; and to children and youth with exceptionalities and their parents and families. For example, CEC issues position statements to protect the rights of students with disabilities and gifts/talents, and it monitors and influences appropriations and related legislation. Through its annual Legislative Summit, CEC educates its members on how to advocate for change with their Congressional representatives. CEC also establishes initial and advanced professional preparation standards that are widely used by colleges and universities to ensure that special educators learn essential knowledge and skills.
For members, CEC offers a wide array of easily accessible resources as well as well as virtual workshops and publications, including two outstanding journals, that keep us up to date on best practices and current research. CEC also hosts the annual Convention and Expo which is a magnificent professional development opportunity and a chance to greet longtime friends and welcome newcomers.
As a member for over 40 years and a past president, CEC has been my cherished professional home. First attending local and state meetings and conferences and the Convention, I timidly volunteered to serve on committees and then run for office, and it was hugely satisfying to be part of such a dynamic association. And I know that every member I meet, whether in person or remotely, shares my values and passion for improving outcomes for students with exceptionalities. We may have different areas of expertise and may disagree on specific issues, but we collaborate to accomplish our mission.
My husband, an attorney, once attended a CEC event with me. He had two reactions: First, he attended the Yes I Can Awards Ceremony and was moved to tears at this celebration of the accomplishments of the children and youth with disabilities who were being honored. Second, he kept commenting that everyone at the meeting was “so nice,” something not typical in his professional circles! I was incredibly proud to be part of this caring and committed family.
CEC is commemorating its 100th anniversary, and it has been supporting and shaping the field for all those years. I only give to causes that I deeply believe in, and there is no better cause than CEC, whatever the amount you can give. And if you are able to make a large or cumulative donation, please consider CEC’s recently established Elizabeth Farrell Society; you can customize your contribution and receive several benefits in recognition of your generosity.