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Jennifer Diliberto elected to Council for Exceptional Children board

Jennifer Diliberto, Ph.D.

Jennifer Diliberto, Ph.D., a clinical associate professor in the UNC School of Education, has been elected to the board of directors for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). 

During her 4-year term, Diliberto and 15 fellow board members are charged with planning for the CEC’s future, safeguarding its fiscal health, and monitoring its programs to ensure mission impact — ultimately uplifting individuals with disabilities and educators. Diliberto will also work to strategically push CEC forward and ensure that the community of special educators is equipped to best serve a multifaceted student population. 

The CEC is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the success of children with disabilities or gifts and talent. CEC advocates for governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice. CEC is the leading source of information, resources, and professional development for special educators. 

“As an educator with a disability focusing on bridging the gap between research and practice through educator preparation, the CEC mission is close to my heart,” said Diliberto, who has been connected with the CEC since her early undergraduate years. “The CEC supported my growth in advocacy and scholarship while always upholding diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility. It is a true community where members all share in the common vision that makes our world a better place.” 

Prior to her initial faculty appointment at Greensboro College, Diliberto worked within the Exceptional Children Division for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and taught in both public and private K-12 schools serving students with high-incidence disabilities — which encouraged her to present and publish on topics related to educators with disabilities, working with families, inclusive education, literacy instruction, and teacher recruitment. She joined the School in 2014. 

As a special educator and advocate dedicated to preparing all educators, Diliberto’s work examines learning disabilities, literacy instruction using multisensory structured language programs, working with families during the Individualized Education Plan process, educators with disabilities, and recruitment of special education teachers within her field of expertise.  

Through this board appointment, Diliberto aims to continue to find new ways to bridge research and practice, promote professional development and implementation in high-leverage practice for students with disabilities in prospective and experienced educators, and enhance the CEC mission.  

“By joining the CEC Board of Directors, I want to support strengthening partnerships so we can truly implement the evidence-based frameworks we know work to support our students with disabilities in their public schools and their local communities,” Diliberto said. 

“I want to help further the creation of equitable and accessible spaces for persons with disabilities through teaching, advocacy, research, and service so disabled individuals feel a sense of acceptance and belonging within our communities to build a more inclusive world,” she said. 

Along with recently elected board members, Diliberto begins her term on Jan. 1, 2024.