JOINING A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION HELPS YOU STAY INFORMED, allows you to network with others in the field, and provides opportunities to learn and grow. Memberships may also benefit you by providing liability insurance, special discounts and subscriptions to newsletters, scholarly journals and other publications.

I belong to the Council for Exceptional Children. I remember going to my first state CEC conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I met a lot of special educators who were dedicated to working together to meet the needs of kids. From there I became more interested and have since been to several of the international CEC conferences. Going to the international CEC conferences is really fun. At the confernces you meet really neat people. I met Samuel Kirk at CEC. Involvement is easy, and you get so much from it. Now I belong to CEC, CASE and DLD.

If you haven't been involved in a professional organization, check the links below to find one that meets your needs.

starThe Council for Exceptional Children is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides continual professional development, advocates for newly and historically underserved individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.

star The American Speech/Language Hearing Association is the professional organization for speech/language pathologists. ASHA disseminates research, provides networking and professional improvement.

star The American Association of School Administrators has daily legislative updates, job openings and more. One interesting area is the Women's Leadership Forum.

What distinguishes ASCD's presence on the World Wide Web is Content! Here is where you'll find everything from full-text articles published in Educational Leadership to descriptions of every ASCD Professional Institute or Conference.

The mission of the Council of Administrators of Special Education, Inc. is to provide leadership and support to members by shaping policies and practices which impact the quality of education.

Learning Disabilities of America disseminates information and provides services for the learning disabled population.

American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists.

CHADD works to improve the lives of people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder through education, advocacy and support.

The Autism Society of America promotes lifelong access and opportunities for persons within the autism spectrum and their families, to be fully included, participating members of their communities through advocacy, public awareness, education, and research related to autism.

United Cerebral Palsy has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

The mission of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is to promote educationally and psychologically healthy environments for all children and youth.

Epilepsy International has the most current and comprehensive information on the drugs, treatments, people, and issues in epilepsy.

starEaster Seals is a non-profit, community-based health agency dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities attain greater independence.

The National PTA is the oldest and largest volunteer association in the United States working exclusively on behalf of children and youth.

The Head Start Bureau maintains this web site as an electronic resource for Head Start service providers, parents, volunteers, community organizations, and others, who share an interest in helping children look forward to a brighter future.

America’s Promise--The Alliance for Youth is a national organization led by General Colin Powell, dedicated to mobilizing the nation to ensure our children and youth have access to the fundamental resources they need to become successful adults.

The mission of the National School Boards Association is to foster excellence and equity in public education through school board leadership.

The goal of the National School Safety Center is to promote safe schools free of drug traffic and abuse, gangs, weapons, vandalism and bullying; to encourage good discipline, attendance and community support; to bring back into the education mainstream youth such as truants, dropouts, suspended or expelled students, youngsters fearful of school violence, and adjudicated youth seeking to return to school from correctional facilities; and to help ensure a quality education for all children.

The National Alliance For Safe Schools works to make our schools safe.

The American Association on Mental Retardation has an on-line resource that will augment our activities and give you rapid access to information about the mental retardation and disabilities field.

The American Council of the Blind provides general information about the Council, including issues of The Braille Forum. has information on special education, teaching, and publications.

The Alliance for Parental Involvement in Education is a nonprofit organization which assists and encourages parental involvement in education.

The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) is the largest organization of professionals supporting and assisting those involved in physical education, leisure, fitness, dance, health promotion, and education and all specialties related to achieving a healthy lifestyle.

The Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI), is dedicated to the dual mission of promoting 1) the inherent rights, education and well-being of children from infancy through early adolescence, and 2) high standards of preparation and professional growth for educators.

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology provides leadership in educational communications and technology by linking professionals holding a common interest in the use of educational technology and its application to the learning process.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children is the nation's largest organization of early childhood professionals and others dedicated to improving the quality of early childhood education programs for children birth through age eight.

National Association of Elementary School Principals is dedicated to assuring that every American boy and girl receive the world's best elementary and middle school education.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) serves education leaders in middle level schools and high schools, including administrators, teachers, students, and others interested in education and the welfare of today's youth.

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards works to strengthen the teaching profession and to improve student learning in America's schools.

American Educational Research Association is the most prominent international professional organization with the primary goal of advancing educational research and its practical application.

The University Council for Educational Administration was founded almost 40 years ago by 32 universities as a consortium dedicated to the dual mission of improving the preparation of educational leaders and promoting the development of professional knowledge related to the practice of school administration and school improvement.

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology provides leadership in educational communications and technology by linking professionals holding a common interest in the use of educational technology and its application to the learning process.

The National Transition Alliance for Youth with Disabilities (NTA) seeks the formation of one education system that benefits from the lessons learned from special education, regular education, and vocational education.

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