Special Education Organizations You Need to Know
Whether you are a parent of a special needs child, an advocate, an administrator, or a teacher, there are some key special education organizations you need to know about. These organizations will provide you with: updated information concerning special education regulations, advocacy support, teacher resources, question and answer forums, and/or general information regarding educating students with special needs.
Listed below are some of the highly effective organizations designed for parents and advocates, and those designed for teachers and administrators.
Organizations for parents and advocates:
Advocating Change Together (ACT). ACT is operated by and for individuals with developmental disorders or other disabilities.
Autism Society of America. Autism has steadily inclined in numbers. This group encourages lifelong access and opportunities for child with autism or asperger's syndrome, as well as their families.
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. The focus of this organization is to be a support to individuals with mental illness and their families.
Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC). PEATC educates parents on the rights of their special needs children and ensuring that districts adequately provide for these rights.
The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (TASH). TASH is an international group for people with disabilities, their families and advocates, aiming for the inclusion of special needs individuals in all aspects of society.
World Associations of Persons with Disabilities (WAPD). WAPD advocates for persons with disabilities at the national, state and local level.
Organization for administrators and teachers:
Council For Exceptional Children (CEC). CEC is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for students with special needs.
DisabilityOnline.com. This large database provides a wealth of information on disabilities.
International Dyslexia Association (IDA). IDA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study and treatment of dyslexia, one of the main learning disabilities.
National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET). This national membership organization is for special educators and those preparing to become special educators.
National Center to Improve Practice in Special Education. The center promotes the effective use of assistive and instructional technologies by educators and providers.
National Organization on Disabilities. The objective of this group is to serve as a resource regarding any questions pertaining to disabilities.
SpEdEx. This website provides links, documents, teacher resources, and a discussion board.
In addition to these national organizations, there are numerous other national groups that focus on specific disabilities, such as down syndrome, ADHD, or visually impaired. Most of these organizations have websites where you can easily obtain more information.
Be sure to also check out state and local organizations that advocate for students with special needs. Most states have a website where teachers can swap lessons plans and get great ideas for classroom activities. Parents can become involved in local groups to gain a better knowledge of special education and to be of support to each other.
More Special Education Organizations
- American Council of the Blind
- American Diabetes Association
- American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
- American Society for Deaf Children
- Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (TASH)
- Autism Society of America
- Brain Injury Association
- Can Do!
- Eating Disorders Education Organization
- National Center for Learning Disabilities
- National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)
- Vision of Children