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This speech examines the role of associations, such as the Council for Exceptional Children and the Council of Administrators of Special Education, in influencing the development of public policy. Critical functions of such groups are identified and include provision of comprehensive information in the area of interest, provision of analysis of public policy issues (through both journals and meetings), and provision of a mechanism for members to influence public policy. The recent trend of increased collaboration and coalition among related associations in both general and special education is welcomed, though further collaborations (e.g., with the mental health community, early childhood service providers, and adult service providers) are urged. Also noted is the influence that association members can have on the development of regulations after legislation is enacted. Association members are urged to greater involvement to make their voices heard. (DB)

Descriptors: Change Agents, Cooperation, Disabilities, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Lobbying, Organizations (Groups), Policy Formation, Public Policy, Trend Analysis

Autor: Thomason, Jo


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