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About Ontario CEC

The Ontario Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is a community of educators and partners in learning dedicated to advancing the success of students with exceptionalities in Ontario.

CEC is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of children and youth with disabilities and/or gifts and talents, internationally renowned for its expertise and leadership, working collaboratively with strategic partners to ensure that all students are valued and fully participating members of society. As a diverse and vibrant professional community, CEC is a trusted voice in shaping education practice and policy.

Learn More About CEC

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Mission Statement

The Ontario Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is a community of educators and partners in learning dedicated to special education in Ontario. CEC's mission is to improve, through excellence and advocacy, the education and quality of life for children and youth with exceptionalities and/or special needs and to enhance engagement of their families.

Ontario CEC Regions and Chapters

Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region 4




York Region


Bylaws and Constitution

Access Current Constitution and Bylaws Here


Our Shared Beliefs and Guiding Principles

In the community, home, and workplace, we believe that:

  • All children and youth are unique.
  • Each child and youth can learn to be successful in the home, community and the workplace using his/her strengths and with support in addressing his/her needs.
  • All Ontarians need to work toward a barrier-free Ontario.
  • The Ontario Council for Exceptional Children is the voice and advocate for all children and youth with exceptionalities in Ontario.

In the education system, we believe that:*

  • All students can succeed.
  • Each student has his or her own unique patterns of learning.
  • Equal is not equitable.
  • Successful instructional practices are founded on evidence-based research, tempered with experience.
  • Universal design and differentiated instruction are effective and interconnected means of meeting the learning needs of any group of students.
  • Classroom teachers are the key to a student’s literacy and numeracy development.
  • Classroom teachers need the support of the larger community to create a learning environment that supports all students.
  • Fairness is not sameness.

*(Adapted from Learning for All, A Guide to Effective Assessment and Instruction for All Students, Kindergarten to Grade 12, 2013)

Young male teacher giving young male student a high-five while doing visual math problem

Strategic Plan

Quality Teaching and Learning

Goal 1: Provide to its members professional development, evidence-based practices, support, and knowledge exchange that optimizes teaching and learning.


  • Host an annual special education conference that focuses on evidence-based practices, assistive/adaptive technology, equity, and well-being
  • Support collaboration among educators, other service providers, and families to effectively educate children and youth with exceptionalities and/or special needs
  • Review and enhance position papers and policies.
  • Consult with the Ontario College of Teachers, the Ministry of Education, and other regulatory Colleges and Ministries regarding special education.
Man in suit holding CEC document


Goal 2: Advance the teaching and learning of children and youth with exceptionalities and/or special needs, the support for their families, and the policies, preparation, and practices of professionals who work on their behalf.


  • Foster understanding, respect, and high expectations for students with exceptionalities and/or special needs and their families.
  • Collaborate with its chapters and subdivisions to support advocacy efforts to influence policies relative to special education services and programs and professional preparation and practice standards.
  • Liaise with experts and policymakers in general and special education and related services to develop standards that address the quality of educational supports, services, and programs.
Woman sitting at table looking serious

Collaborative Partnerships

Goal 3: Collaborate and promote partnerships among Ontario CEC, its chapters and subdivisions, International CEC, the Ministry of Education, and other like-minded organizations.


  • Strengthen existing and develop new partnerships that align with the mission and vision of Ontario CEC.
2 men and 1 woman standing by a bookcase

Organizational Vitality

Goal 4: Enhance Ontario CEC’s reputation and influence through leadership, organizational performance, and fiduciary effectiveness.


  • Grow and diversify Ontario CEC’s membership, develop its leadership, and enhance its value to members and other professionals.
  • Support and strengthen Ontario CEC’s chapters, subdivisions, and student chapters and facilitate collaboration among them.
  • Achieve fiscal goals, implement cost-effective operations, and utilize existing and emerging technologies to support the needs of special education professionals

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