We are committed to improving the lives and education of ALL children everyday.
Providing resources, assisting families
ECAC helps parents navigate the special education system, know their rights, and use their voice. We provide information, support, training and resources to assist families caring for children with special needs from birth to age 26. We also support young adults with disabilities in becoming self-advocates and leaders and the educators and professionals who serve them.
As parents of special needs children, we understand.
Providing connections for support
ECAC staff are not lawyers and we not do we have the answer to every question that families have regarding their child’s success. We can provide connections to community and state resources that can support families.
North Carolina's PTI Center
Who we serve
North Carolina's Deaf/Blind Project
ECAC and the North Carolina Infant Toddler Program (NCITP)
ECAC and the North Carolina State Improvement Project (NCSIP)
NCSIP is a program in the Exceptional Children Division of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Funded by the Office of Special Education Programs in the U.S. Department of Education, NCSIP works to improve the quality and effectiveness of educational programs and instruction for students with disabilities in North Carolina.
ECAC is a nonprofit organization created in 1984 by Connie Hawkins and Frank Graziadei, two parents with children with special needs. With the help of Richard White, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, they wrote North Carolina’s first grant to fund the Parent Training and Information Center (PTI). Their experience as parents of children with disabilities, compelled them to help find support for other families of children with special needs.
Connie Hawkins was both ECAC’s founder and Executive Director for 34 years. Frank Graziadei, has returned as a Board Member. Both Connie and Frank are still advocating for a free and appropriate education for ALL children with a special focus on child with disabilities.