Code of Ethics
"We declare the following principles to be the Code of Ethics for educators of persons with exceptionalities. Members of the special education profession are responsible for upholding and advancing these principles. Members of The Council for Exceptional Children agree to judge and be judged by them in accordance with the spirit and provisions of this Code.
A. Special education professionals are committed to developing the highest educational and quality of life potential of individuals with exceptionalities.
B. Special education professionals promote and maintain a high level of competence and integrity in practicing their profession.
C. Special education professionals engage in professional activities which benefit individuals with exceptionalities, their families, other colleagues, students, or research subjects.
D. Special education professionals exercise objective professional judgment in the practice of their profession.
E. Special education professionals strive to advance their knowledge and skills regarding the education of individuals with exceptionalities.
F. Special education professionals work within the standards and policies of their profession.
G. Special education professionals seek to uphold and improve where necessary the laws, regulations, and policies governing the delivery of special education and related services and the practice of their profession.
H. Special education professionals do not condone or participate in unethical or illegal acts, nor violate professional standards adopted by the Delegate Assembly of CEC.
"Special education personnel are committed to the application of professional expertise to ensure the provision of quality education for all individuals with exceptionalities. Professionals strive to:
Identify and use instructional methods and curricula that are appropriate to their area of professional practice and effective in meeting the individual needs of persons with exceptionalities.
Participate in the selection and use of appropriate instructional materials, equipment, supplies, and other resources needed in the effective practice of their profession.
Create safe and effective learning environments which contribute to fulfillment of needs, stimulation of learning, and self-concept.
Maintain class size and case loads which are conducive to meeting the individual instructional needs of individuals with exceptionalities.
Use assessment instruments and procedures that do not discriminate against persons with exceptionalities on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, age, political practices, family or social background, sexual orientation, or exceptionality.
Base grading, promotion, graduation, and/or movement out of the program on the individual goals and objectives for individuals with exceptionalities.
Provide accurate program data to administrators, colleagues, and parents, based on efficient and objective record keeping practices, for the purpose of decision making.
Maintain confidentiality of information except when information is released under specific conditions of written consent and statutory confidentiality requirements.
Special education professionals participate with other professionals and with parents in an interdisciplinary effort in the management of behavior. Professionals:
Apply only those disciplinary methods and behavioral procedures which they have been instructed to use and which do not undermine the dignity of the individual or the basic human rights of persons with exceptionalities, such as corporal punishment.
Clearly specify the goals and objectives for behavior management practices in the persons' with exceptionalities Individualized Education Program.
Conform to policies, statues, and rules established by state/provincial and local agencies relating to judicious application of disciplinary methods and behavioral procedures.
Take adequate measures to discourage, prevent, and intervene when a colleague's behavior is perceived as being detrimental to exceptional students.
Refrain from aversive techniques unless repeated trials of other methods have failed and only after consultation with parents and appropriate agency officials.
Adequate instruction and supervision shall be provided to professionals before they are required to perform support services for which they have not been prepared previously.
Professionals may administer medication, where state/provincial policies do not preclude such action, if qualified to do so or if written instructions are on file which state the purpose of the medication, the conditions under which it may be administered, possible side effects, the physician's name and phone number, and the professional liability if a mistake is made. The professional will not be required to administer medication.
Professionals note and report to those concerned whenever changes in behavior occur in conjunction with the administration of medication or at any other time.
Professionals seek to develop relationships with parents based on mutual respect for their roles in achieving benefits for the exceptional person. Special education professionals:
Develop effective communication with parents, avoiding technical terminology, using the primary language of the home, and other modes of communication when appropriate.
Seek and use parents' knowledge and expertise in planning, conducting, and evaluating special education and related services for persons with exceptionalities.
Maintain communications between parents and professionals with appropriate respect for privacy and confidentiality.
Extend opportunities for parent education utilizing accurate information and professional methods.
Inform parents of the educational rights of their children and of any proposed or actual practices which violate those rights.
Recognize and respect cultural diversities which exist in some families with persons with exceptionalities.
Recognize that the relationship of home and community environmental conditions affects the behavior and outlook of the exceptional person.