Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center

The Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center (ECAC) is committed to improving the lives and education of ALL children with emphasis on children with disabilities and special health care needs. ECAC affirms the right of all individuals, from all backgrounds and cultures, with or without disabilities, to an appropriate education and other needed services. We make that right a reality we provide information, education, and support to parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs. As parents are a child’s first teacher and best advocate, and we provide training in family engagement and leadership. ECAC is a private non-profit organization, all of our services are free to family members.

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Fast Facts

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State or Local? State
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Lead Agency Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center
Type of Agency


Racial Equity Lens
  • ECAC uses an equity lens for all of our work including intentionally hiring diverse staff, provide diversity training for staff, engaging diversity consultants to review our policies, procedures and practices.
  • All of our materials are in English and Spanish, and we hire ASL and interpreters for webinars and meetings as requested. We collect data by race/ethnicity and county. Our website is accessible in the top 7 languages spoken in N.C.
  • We have an organizational focus on reaching Spanish-speaking families, military connected families, American Indian, Black, and rural families. ECAC collects data on race/ethnicity and each quarter we review the populations we are intentionally trying to reach and review the data during Evaluation Team meetings.
Community Voice
  • ECAC’s Board of Directors is 75% parents of children with disabilities ages birth-26.
  • ECAC has a Family Advisory Board of family members who review our materials for cultural relevance. Board members are recruited from the Family Advisory Board.
  • More than 85% of ECAC staff are family members of a child with a disability.
  • Participated in the LENS NC Network on strengthening our organization in our work around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Enhancing our family engagement and leadership work to include a Proclamation from the Governor and developing family engagement calendars.
Next Steps
  • Developing a training for professionals on partnering with families. To date, the onus is on families to develop their skills, and professionals could use the same type of development to fully partner with families.
Primary Partners
  • NC Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health, Early Intervention Branch
  • NC Dept. of Public Instruction, Exceptional Children Division
  • NC DHHS, Women’s and Children’s Health
  • Families
Primary Funders
  • US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
  • NC Department of Public Education Exceptional Children Division
  • DHHS Maternal and Child Health Title V
  • DHHS Maternal and Child Health Early Intervention Branch
Contact Laura Weber

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