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CEC Award Programs

At the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), we know special educators rarely receive the overwhelming appreciation they deserve.

From groundbreaking research to exemplary teaching practices, our award programs are a chance to celebrate the educators—and students—who are making a difference in special education.

Nominations are being accepted for CEC’s 2024 Professional Awards. This is a chance to recognize colleagues who don’t see challenges – they see opportunities. They’re the ones changing students’ lives and giving them the tools to fearlessly own their future. They’re the ones who didn’t necessarily have the time, but they had the heart to give back to their profession and CEC. This is YOUR opportunity to recognize them and their accomplishments.

Nominations close at 12:00 pm Eastern, October 23, 2023.

Professional Awards

professional awards

Our Professional Awards recognize special educators who have advanced the field and the quality of special education service, as well as CEC members whose contributions have moved the Council forward in significant ways.

Yes I Can Awards

red shirt and smile

The Yes I Can Awards recognize the accomplishments of children and youth with exceptionalities (ages 3-21) in six categories: Academics, Arts, School and Community Activities, Self-Advocacy, Technology, and Transition.

Student Awards

two people and award

Our Student Awards recognize CEC student members who have made outstanding contributions to the organization and to children with exceptionalities.

Emerging Special Educators of Color Leadership Travel Award

A group of 6 African-American woman standing and smiling in the CEC 2020 Expo Hall

CEC invites CEC members to submit an application for the Emerging Special Educators of Color Leadership Travel Awards to attend the annual convention.

The CEC Impact Award

Building Resilience in Special Educators

The CEC Impact Award recognizes an individual or community/corporate organization that has had an impact on CEC’s strategic work.

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