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There has long been a need for a central resource to provide information about special education students and the visual and performing arts. For the first time, this information can be accessed through one site. This special web-site brings together professional organizations, text and journal references, community organizations, people, and events that address the arts and special needs students.

A recognition of the need for this website actually began over ten years ago. Special Education teachers involved in the arts frequently attended each other's conference presentations. Many groups and individuals have been contributing to a body of arts related knowledge for special education students. It was exciting to meet other professionals who spoke the languages of both special education and the arts. A Special Interest Group for Teachers of the Arts was formed and met each year at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) annual convention. Since many members could not attend every CEC convention, a newsletter was started to share information about arts related presentations. Past copies of this newsletter, “Learning Through the Arts,” will soon be available on this website. The “Learning Through the Arts” newsletter, which was snail mailed to recipients through the SCSU Special Education Department, has evolved into a National Arts Education Association column that is described below.

Two years ago, the National Art Education Association (NAEA) recognized that its members were interested in information about art for special education students. A Special Needs Issues Group was approved by the NAEA delegates and now meets at the NAEA annual convention. There is also a “Special Needs” column that appears in the bi-monthly NAEAnews, published by NAEA. Copies of past columns can be found by accessing the NAEA “Special Needs” Issues Group column. Minutes of the Special Needs Interest Groups will also be available on this website in the future.