One of the most powerful tools DEC has is the ability to use our collective voice to advocate for young children with disabilities and their families. To that end, the DEC Policy and Advocacy Team helps to develop DEC’s policy recommendations to ensure that proposed legislation, regulations, and documents from the US Departments of Education and Human Services increase opportunities for all young children including children with disabilities and their families.
The Policy and Advocacy Team functions as a necessary and significant arm of the DEC Executive Office, focusing DEC’s policy and advocacy efforts by working collaboratively with the DEC Executive Office Leadership, the DEC Governmental Relations Consultant, and the Children’s Action Network (CAN) Coordinator. Division for Early Childhoods Teams are officially recognized bodies of DEC members who are supported by the DEC Executive Office. Teams reflect the formal positions of the Division for Early Childhood and participate in developing, maintaining, and evolving strategies and initiatives that are critical and center to supporting DEC’s mission and beliefs.
CAN supports DEC’s mission by encouraging members to take action on legislation and issues that already have been endorsed by DEC/CEC or issues that DEC/CEC have already provided recommendations about. The Governmental Relations Consultant and the Executive Director develop and sustain relationships with national organizations, agencies, and governmental entities.
The Policy and Advocacy Team ensures DEC has a seat at the table with important stakeholders and will provide CAN with the tools needed to engage in effective advocacy. The Team also ensures a proactive stance in the drafting of policy and legislative recommendations and issue briefs; suggests updates to the DEC policy webpages as appropriate; supports the dissemination of policy and advocacy specific information; and assists in planning DEC policy and advocacy events and resources (including policy/advocacy specific actions at the annual national conference).
At this time, DEC is seeking a new Policy and Advocacy Team Leader to continue the important work of planning and supporting DEC policy and advocacy activities.
Source: Division of Early Childhood, Council for Exceptional Children