Thank you to all who participated in Exceptional Children’s Week (ECW), May 1-7, 2023. The members of the Illinois Council for Exceptional Children (ICEC) used this opportunity to celebrate and promote awareness of children and youth with exceptionalities. Here are some of the ways students were celebrated: Reading stories or seeing films featuring exceptional children and youth; using social media to spread advocacy and awareness of children and youth with exceptionalities; and so much more. Thank you for celebrating students with exceptionalities, their teachers, and their families. Thank you too for the best ever lineup of Yes, I Can! award nominees. We look forward to meeting each of these students during the Awards Luncheon at the ICEC Fall Convention, Saturday, November 4, 2023. We extend our gratitude to Meghan Wurst, Chair of ECW and Yes, I Can! awards. Finally, we congratulate the recipients of the ICEC Lesley Graham Post Secondary Scholarships and the School-to-Work Scholarships. We greatly appreciate their hard work and wish them well as they continue their education: Post-Secondary Scholarship Awardees: Marvin Howard, Joliet Central High School and Naveah Williams, Clinton High School. School to Work Scholarship Awardees: Paige Walton, Peoria Heights High School and Supitcha Siltman, Olympia High School We extend our gratitude to Dr. Sarah Ballard, Chair of the Scholarship Committee and the members of the Scholarship Committee for their devoted attention to this important work.
The CEC Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia, July 7-9 was a jam-packed event. Topics covered included The State of the Council and CEC Structure; Activating the Value of CEC; Maximizing Your Why; Leadership in Communities; Avoiding Legal Pitfalls; and 20 breakout sessions on a variety of topics. Participants met the CEC staff and up to 120 individuals from the United States and Canada. The Legislative Summit followed immediately from July 9 -12 and focused on advocacy for our students and for the personnel and programs that serve them. More than 300 participants from across the United States attended this event. The Leadership Institute and Legislative Summit put our work as special education professionals in clear perspective. We learned how to engage with CEC as a professional support network and resource center and we learned how to leverage our professional commitment to advocate for and develop our field side-by-side with other pressing issues of our time. See the CEC website for more details: https://exceptionalchildren.org/about-us These events will take place on July 12-17 in 2024. If interested, I highly recommend your participation in both events.
The ICEC 74th Annual Fall Convention November 2-4, 2023, will be an outstanding professional experience. Special educators, related service providers, teacher educators, preservice special educators, administrators, policy makers, parents, and special education advocates are invited to attend this Convention. Presentations and posters addressed this year’s theme "Making a Difference One Student at a Time". We have an impressive lineup of Convention presenters who will address topics related to: academics; autism; behavior; community engagement; diversity; dyslexia; early childhood; elementary; family partnership; high school; home/hospital; legal; mental health; social-emotional learning; student engagement; transition; and more. Keynote speakers Dr. Gloria McDaniel-Hall and Lani Lawson will inspire us to do our best work on behalf of students with disabilities and their families. We will host numerous exhibitors, honor professional and student accomplishments, and so much more. Register today and save!!!!