Related Events 

DEC Policy and Advocacy Community of Practice Meetings 

The Policy and Advocacy Community of Practice (P&AC CoP) brings together a national network of individuals who are committed to deepening their knowledge of and engagement in public policies that affect young children (0-8) with disabilities and other special needs and their families. Community members have a passion for and understand that advocacy is a powerful mechanism for proactively influencing the policy process. The community provides a space where members share information about state/local public policy issues and engage with supportive peers to identify advocacy-based solutions.

Meeting 1

Current Hot Policy Topics and Resources for Advocating
Wednesday, February 23rd, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Eastern Time

Meeting 2

Championing the Issues of the Early Education Workforce
Wednesday, March 23rd, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Eastern

 

Meeting 3
Deep Dive: Advocacy and Social Media

Wednesday, April 20th, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Eastern

Register here to attend any or all of the meetings!

 
Recent Events 

What’s Happening in Washington DC: What Can You Do To Support Children and Families 

Tuesday, January 4th, 3:45 to 5:00 PM Eastern Time 

Thursday, January 6th, 6:30 to 7:45 PM Eastern Time 

A webinar on the activities completed in the first session of the 117th Congress and plans for the second session of the Congress. Topics addressed include updates on federal funding for the current year, updates on the new Infrastructure legislation, and progress toward passage of the Build Back Better bill currently under consideration by the Congress. Implications for initiatives related to families, children with disabilities, Head Start, child care and other early learning and education priorities are the focus of the session. This session will leave you inspired and ready to stay involved in this important work! Access the event recording and handout for the January 4th and for the January 6th events. 

Previous Events 

DEC Wraparound Events

DEC’s What’s Happening in Washington - An Early Childhood Update

Presented by Sharon Walsh, DEC’s Governmental Relations Consultant

Download the recording and slides from What's Happening in Washington here.

This session will review current activities from the administration and the 2021 congress including implementation of the American Rescue Fund Act (ARP), progress on passage of funding for FFY 2022 and review of pending priorities under the American Family Plan and the American Jobs Plan. 

Social Media as a Practical Tool for Advocacy

May 27th, 2021, 3:30 PM Eastern Time 

Presented by Robyn DiPietro-Wells, MEd

with Kris Pedersen, SLPD, CCC-SLP, Diana LaRocco, EdD.; Kristi Lunceford, MEd from the DEC Policy & Advocacy Committee

Learn tips and tricks for utilizing social media platforms within your community and state. Learn social media strategies to engage and mobilize stakeholders to take action. 

Access the recording and handout here.​

Communicating with Policy Makers

April 30th, 2021, 2:00 PM Eastern Time 

Presented by Alissa Rausch, EdD 

Join us for some tips on how to identify and communicate effectively with policy makers at local, state and national levels. Learn how to make connections with decision-makers and convey your message in a way that will bring about change.

Access the recording and handout here.​

What's Happening in Washington  
Archived March 31st, 2021 

Presented by Sharon Walsh, DEC's Governmental Relations Consultant. As you know, so much is happening in Washington DC! This session will focus on the new Biden Administration and the 117th Congress and how these changes relate to the important work we all do with and on behalf of young children and their families. Topics to be addressed include: COVID-19 relief efforts, CEC and DEC priorities for the new Administration and Congress, federal funding, child care and other early learning priorities, and other issues you care about!. Please come prepared with your advocacy hat on and your advocacy voice ready! Plan to leave the session with ways to stay involved in this important work!

Access the recording and handouts here.

Turn Your Passion into Action - A Presentation on the Legislative Process and Advocacy Fundamentals 
Archived January 30th, 2019 


This webinar provides an overview of the federal legislative process and strategies for advocacy to support young children with disabilities and their families around issues supported by DEC’s mission. Participants will be able to describe the legislative process and identify policymakers and decision-makers at the federal, state, and local levels; identify opportunities for advocacy and strategies for contacting and meeting with policymakers and decision-makers; and describe strategies to engage DEC members in your state in advocacy efforts. The webinar is intended for CAN Coordinators and state subdivision leaders but all DEC members are welcome.


Presented by:
Sara Movahedazarhouligh, DEC Advocacy Team, is a doctoral candidate in special education, with an emphasis in early childhood special education (ECSE) at the University of Northern Colorado. She is a member of the Policy and Advocacy Committee for the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children. Sara has worked as an occupational therapist, a rehabilitation coordinator and now is looking forward to work on her dissertation. Her dissertation research will include leadership in ECSE. 


Christina Kasprzak, M.A., is a Senior Scientist at the Frank Porter Graham, Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a member of the Policy and Advocacy Committee for the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children. Christina has worked in the field of EI/ECSE for more than 20 years and currently serves as Director of the Early Childhood TA (ECTA) Center and is on the leadership team for the The Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) 

Access the recording and handouts here.

What’s Happening in the 116th Congress
Archived March 6th, 2019 

Similar to the What’s Happening in Washington session held at DEC’s annual conference, Sharon Walsh will highlight the prominent issues and policies that will likely be addressed by the 116th Congress that are relevant to DEC’s mission. Join us to learn how you can get involved and support advocacy efforts for the benefit of young children with disabilities and their families.


Presented by: Sharon Walsh, DEC Governmental Relations Consultant, has worked in the field of special education and early intervention for over 30 years. She currently provides consultation to state and local agencies (e.g. SEAs, state lead agencies for Part C, school districts and local lead agencies) on the implementation of Part C and Part B of IDEA. She also is the Governmental Relations Consultant for the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC) and the IDEA Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association (ITCA), which is the national association representing the state Part C lead agencies. Sharon also works as a consultant on the federally funded Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) and the Center for
IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy).

Access the recording and handouts here.

Policy and Advocacy Committee Events