February 10 marks the inaugural meeting of the CEC Maltreatment Policy Workgroup. The newly appointed workgroup will meet during the CEC 2018 Convention & Expo to begin their work developing a maltreatment of children and youth with exceptionalities policy, which will be presented to the CEC Board of Directors in July 2018. Establishing a policy is just the beginning of a larger conversation on how to address maltreatment.
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recognizes the increased risk for maltreatment experienced by individuals with exceptionalities and the significant life-long negative impact that that the maltreatment experience can have upon an individual’s health, learning, and performance. In Jan. 2014, the CEC Interdivisional Caucus established a Maltreatment Workgroup to conduct research, gather resources, provide professional development, and foster collaboration in order to address maltreatment. Since the establishment of the workgroup, they have requested the CEC Board of Directors take action to lessen the occurrence of maltreatment of individuals with exceptionalities. In response, the CEC Board of Directors appointed a CEC workgroup to develop a policy on maltreatment.
In January, National Public Radio published a series of stories covering the high rate of sexual assault among individuals with intellectual disabilities—and how these crimes are severely underreported. The lack of reporting and lack of punishment of offenders is deplorable. Maltreatment of children and youth with exceptionalities is an issue that CEC is currently working to address and is dedicated to ensuring and enhancing the safety and success of children and youth with exceptionalities.