CEC History

Since 1922, the Council for Exceptional Children has been a national organization advocating for children who are gifted an/or talented, or who have disabilities. Based in the Washington, D.C. area since its inception, CEC is a strong advocate for parents, teachers and administrators of special education as well. Familiar with legislation at the national level, CEC makes frequent contact with decision-makers and elected representatives in the House and Senate, representing the interest of parents and professionals in the field. CEC has 17 divisions, including the Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD), the Council for Children with Behavior Disorders (CCBD), The Association for Gifted (TAG), the Teacher Education Division (TED), the Council for Administrators of Special Education (CASE), among others. For more information about CEC, check out their website at www.cec.sped.org

NH Chapter (formerly called “NH Federation”)

The New Hampshire Federation was active throughout the 80’s and early 90’s, then went into “inactive” mode for several years. Its primary activity was the annual conference in March, with winter conferences held as well; some “old-timers” may remember some good times at Waterville Valley. There were actually two chapters of the “old Federation” – Merrimack Valley and Seacoast. Some may recall that there was a North Country chapter as well, although that has not yet been verified by our research department. Student chapters once existed at our Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), specifically Keene and Rivier.

Current Numbers

As of the Fall of 2019, there are 250 active members in New Hampshire. The current revival of CEC in New Hampshire is sponsored by the NH Association of Special Education Administrators, which has 190 members across the State (some of whom also belong to CEC), There are many divisions that are available for additional professional development and participation. For example, Council of Administrators for Special Education (CASE), which has recently aligned with NHASEA with 46 members.

Goals for CEC-NH

Having been re-activated as of October 2004, CEC-NH will be a visible player in New Hampshire’s special education community. Members of CEC-NH will be on an active listserve, and will receive timely information about legislation at the State and national level. In addition, members will be alerted to conferences and workshops, some with discounts for CEC-NH members. Professional resources will also be listed on the CEC-NH website, and information about best practices, with links to resources and agencies, will be part of the service to members.


Currently, CEC-NH is trying to schedule meetings at a more convenient time for all special education CEC members. Please see our newsletter on the home page for more information.