NCDPI Division of Exceptional Children

The mission of the Exceptional ChildrenDivision is to ensure that students with disabilities develop intellectually, physically, emotionally, and vocationally through the provision of an appropriate individualized education program in the least restrictive environment.

The Arts & Exceptional Children

Underserved Students. Studies find that students from low socio-economic backgrounds, English language learners, and students with special needs—often underserved in public schools—show the greatest relative improvement in academic achievement when participating in the arts. Research also finds that English language learners are significantly more likely to pursue a college degree if they attend an arts-rich high school (Catterall, 2009). (ArtsEdSearch Research Overview)


Arts Access is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1982 that is dedicated to increasing access to the arts for all people. We provide:

  • A statewide website to share information or locate resources related to arts and disability.
  • Workshops, technical assistance, and consultations on how to develop ADA accessibility plans for programs and facilities.
  • Disability awareness training for arts organizations.
  • Audio Description services at select performances so that patrons who are blind or have low vision can “see” a play.