LDA News

Deadline is Looming –August 31 – to Nominate 2016-17 Officers and Board of Directors


  LDA’s nominating committee is ready to receive your nominations for the 2016-17 officers and board of directors. Positions to be filled at the Assembly of Delegates in Orlando on February 16, 2016,  include: President (two year term), First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer (all one year terms), and four positions as members of the Board of Directors (all three year terms). All of us have an important role in nominating and electing LDA’s Board of Directors, which is the governing body of LDA that enacts policies, adopts plans, monitors programs and services, and sets priorities of the… Read More »

LDA Legislative News – August 2015


Advocates Mark 25th Anniversary of ADA On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into the law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The effort to end institutional discrimination against individuals with disabilities was a true bipartisan effort, with Republican Senator Lowell Weicker as the Senate sponsor and Democratic Representative Tony Coehlo sponsoring the House version.  Now on the 25th anniversary, the ADA continues to provide protections for individuals with disabilities in hiring, public accommodations, healthcare, education and other arenas and has served as a model for other countries as they move to enact similar laws.     While… Read More »

LDA Legislative News – June 2015


Deal Needed to Save Education Funding Congress has begun its deliberations on spending – “appropriations,” in congressional parlance – for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 which begins on October 1, 2015.  The first step in the long process involves consideration of funding bills by the 12 appropriations subcommittees, one of which is Labor-Health and Human Services-Education. That bill contains most all the programs LDA follows.  The House Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee led off in mid-June with passage on a party-line vote of a draconian bill that would significantly reduce spending for most education programs.   Overall funding for discretionary programs in the Department… Read More »

The Reading Brain: Executive Function Hard at Work


by Linda R. Hecker When I talk with educators across the country, they often lament that students don’t read much anymore, especially in the face of ubiquitous social and multimedia distractions. Even students with intact decoding and fluency complain that reading is just too hard, not worth the effort. Why is reading such a challenge for so many? One often overlooked factor is the role that executive function plays when we engage with text. Broadly put, executive function (EF) describes the cognitive processes that regulate self-directed behavior toward a goal. Anytime we plan, prioritize and organize; maintain effort and focus over… Read More »

In Memory of Janet Lerner

Janet Lerner

It is with deep sadness that we share with you that Dr. Janet Lerner passed away on May 26, 2015. Janet was a long-time supporter of Learning Disability Association’s since the late 1960’s, speaking at nearly every annual conference; and chairing the 1991 Chicago Program. She had served on the Professional Advisory Board for many years and was the recipient of our highest recognition, the LDA Award in 1978.  Janet also served as editor or co-editor of LDA’s professional journal Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal until 2012. Janet’s textbook, Learning Disabilities and Related Disabilities: Strategies for Success, currently in its 13th edition,… Read More »

Newest Affiliate on South Carolina College Campus

sldac picture 2 3

LDA is pleased to announce the formation of our newest local affiliate – the Student Learning Disabilities Association of The Citadel (SLDAC), an affiliate of LDA of South Carolina. Under the direction of their professor Tammy Graham, who is also a member of the LDA of South Carolina board, they wanted to promote awareness and support for the education of people with learning disabilities, their families, and those who teach them.  It is our hope that this local affiliate becomes a model for colleges and universities across the country.  For the full news release on the SLDAC chapter, please visit The Citadel’s website by clicking here.

Webinar: Help Your Child Stay on Track this Summer


Are you worried about what you can do to keep your child actively learning this summer? Not to mention keeping boredom away – every parent dreads hearing, “But, I’m bored! There’s nothing to do!” Join Jen Rawley and Ginny Simank for a timely webinar that will have you ahead of the curve when it comes to summer fun and learning.

Watch the Replay!

LDA Legisative News – April 2015


Bipartisan ESEA Bill Developed in Senate Committee On April 16 by a unanimous vote, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, currently known as No Child Left Behind).  The product of many months of negotiation between Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), the Every Child Achieves Act maintains the core of the ESEA while giving States greater flexibility in implementation.   While both Alexander and Murray acknowledge the bill does not comport completely with what either would have wanted, they… Read More »

Third Grade Reading Laws


Over the last dozen years, more than 30 states have passed third grade reading laws. These laws set standards on how well students must be performing in reading to move on to fourth grade. In most states, these laws apply to all students, including students with learning and attention issues who are struggling with reading. Recognizing this, LDA and NCLD came together to create an infographic and a set of best practices to help parents and policymakers make informed decisions about third grade reading laws and better understand the issue of grade retention. Take a look at the Infographic on… Read More »


Healthy Children Project

LDA, with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumers Union, International Association of Firefighters, and other national groups, filed a petition asking the Consumer Products Safety Commission to ban four categories of products if they contain any of a certain class of flame retardant chemicals. These chemicals are harmful to children’s brain development; LDA calls on the CPSC to protect our families from toxic flame retardants! Earthjustice has published the release to our site. It is now live. The release includes a link to the petition in case you need an electronic version to share. http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2015/health-firefighter-consumer-and-science-groups-seek-ban-on-household-products-with-toxic-chemical-flame

LDA President’s Report


President’s Report to the Board                                                                                                February 17, 2015 2014-15 has been a busy year — lots of listening, learning and action.  Here are a few of the highlights. Our Team:  We have a knowledgeable and dedicated 21-member board of directors, an outstanding 7-member executive committee, eighteen remarkable committees with over 100 volunteers, and an extraordinary 10-member Professional Advisory Board.  That does not take into account the work of the 41 state and local affiliates who engage countless volunteers.  I know the phrase “boots on the ground” is used a lot these days.  Borrowing from that theme, I would like to… Read More »

LDA Comments on ESEA bill


LDA has spent significant time discussing the major issues surfacing in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, currently known as No Child Left Behind). The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman, Lamar Alexander (R-TN), issued a draft bill which is expected to be acted on in the Committee in late February. Senator Alexander solicited public comments which were due on Monday, February 2. Read LDA’s comments here.

LDA Legislative News – January 2015


Education Debate Takes Center Stage The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, known currently as No Child Left Behind, NCLB) is eight years overdue.  Each chamber of Congress has introduced multiple bills over the last seven years in an attempt to find common ground, but without success.  The leadership in the new Congress has indicated both in words and action that they intend to pass a bill this year.    To get the process started, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the new chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a draft bill in… Read More »

LDA Legislative News – December 2014


LDA Impacts FY 2015 Funding Just at the final hour, the 113th Congress concluded funding for current Fiscal Year 2015 (FY 2015).  Among the few wins in that large bill was the partial reinstatement of the “ability to benefit.” Individuals without a high school diploma will be eligible for federal student financial aid, but only if they are enrolled in a career pathway program at a higher education institution such as a community college.  Since the provision was completely eliminated several years ago, LDA has been working with members of Congress and other interested organizations to regain eligibility for financial… Read More »

High School Equivalency Exam Survey

If you have ever asked for accommodations for yourself, your child, or a student, on the GED®, Hi-Set®, or TASC™ test, please complete our survey below so we can work together to ensure all test-takers with disabilities obtain the accommodations allowed by law.

LDA’s mission is to create opportunities for success for all individuals affected by learning disabilities. To this end, LDA promotes legal, appropriate, and effective accommodations for all students with disabilities, including learning disabilities, on high school equivalency exams (GED®, Hi-Set®, or TASC™).

Click here to take the survey

WEBINAR: Transforming Third Grade Common Core Stress to Success for Students with Learning Disabilities

The convergence of Common Core Assessments and Third Grade Retention policies pose a major threat to students with learning disabilities nationwide. Students with LD are likely to be retained and/or fall behind in their reading comprehension. This presentation will focus on how parents, teachers, outside professionals and advocates can help students with learning disabilities using a combination of strategies from early identification, effective interventions, the most effective accommodations, parent and teacher collaboration and other innovative ideas. Our presenters, Mira and Mark Halpert, will share some startling statistics that highlight the risks, share strategies parents and professionals can use and discuss… Read More »

Now Accepting Nominations for the Harry Sylvester Award

Harry Sylvester

This award honors and recognizes an adult with learning disabilities who has shown a strong dedication and commitment to advancing the issues of adults with learning disabilities.  It is the wish of LDA to thank, in Harry Sylvester’s name, an adult with learning disabilities for his/her commitment to those living with learning disabilities.  The Harrison Sylvester Award was created in 2010 to honor Harry Sylvester, a gentle but strong voice in the field of learning disabilities. Harry discovered in his mid 50’s, after struggling for most of life, that he was an adult with learning disabilities. With the knowledge of… Read More »

LDA Makes it Possible! Annual Fall Appeal

Sylvia Youngblood

My name is Sylvia Youngblood and I am the mother of four children, one girl and three boys, all of whom have Specific Learning Disabilities. Two of my children have moved on to post secondary education and are doing well. My youngest two boys are in middle and high school. They are currently in appropriate placements and are facing their challenges head on with the confidence that they can persevere with the use of their success attributes. I am a member of LDA because I find support from people who also live with my struggles to advocate for their children to have a safe… Read More »

LDA Legislative News – November 2014

Young boy listening to a friend talking into his hear, demonstrating symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder.

LDA and NCLD Comment on Federal Research Agenda  In partnership with the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), LDA submitted comments to the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education on the future work of the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER).  NCSER solicited input from researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders as they determine what issues need specific attention and how best to communicate the results of research to practitioners.  With the strong emphasis on evidence-based practices, LDA and NCLD felt it was of critical importance that IES and NCSER hear from families and practitioners with… Read More »

Scholarships Available for K-12 Teachers to Attend 2015 Chicago Conference

Chicago 2015

Teacher Scholarships LDA is pleased to announce a limited number of scholarships available, to be awarded to active teachers in grades K-12, for our 52nd Annual International Conference. Through the generous support of The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, 20 scholarships will be awarded this year.   PROCEDURES FOR NOMINATIONS  Complete application and submit it via mail (LDA, 4156 Library Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15234) or email, with accompanying paperwork no later than Friday, November 21, 2014. Letter of recommendation from immediate supervisor (Principal, Assistant Principal, Head of School, Assistant Head of School) must accompany application. Winners will be notified no later than Monday,… Read More »

LDA Legislative News – October 2014


  Coalition Issues Roadmap for Teacher and Administrator Quality The Coalition on Teacher Quality (CTQ), a national coalition of more than 100 local, state, and national organizations, including LDA, has just issued two seminal documents to address the professional preparation of teachers and principals and the strategies for building a continuum of excellence.  CTQ has combined the commitment and expertise of individuals from civil rights, disability, parent, student, community, and education groups to reach consensus on a new comprehensive framework for teaching quality that focuses on ensuring a fully prepared and effective educator in every classroom.   Profession-Ready Teachers and… Read More »

October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month!


Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) is working hard this month to shine the spotlight on learning disabilities. It is important during Learning Disabilities (LD) Month to focus less on the disabilities aspect and focus more on the incredible abilities so many of these individuals possess as well as emphasize the phenomenal achievements and important strides so many of these individuals have made. Membership in LDA is a way in which to support and nurture individuals with learning disabilities throughout not only the United States but the world. LDA does make a difference in the lives of those it touches.… Read More »

AT 101: Understanding and Advocating for Assistive Technology

Carolyn Phillips, Director of Tools for Life

Upcoming Webinar AT 101: Understanding and Advocating for Assistive Technology Presented by: Carolyn P. Phillips, Director of Tools for Life Join us on Thursday, September 18 at 7pm EST. Space is limited! Register and log in early! AT 101: Understanding and Advocating for Assistive Technology Assistive technology can mean different things to different people depending on their disability and can be both low tech and high tech. Join LDA as Carolyn Phillips, Program Director and Principal Investigator of Tools for Life, provides an easy to understand overview on the basics of Assistive Technology (AT) and how it can benefit individuals… Read More »

2015 Conference Keynote Speaker | The “Shut Up Sisters”


Gina (Terrasi) Gallagher and Patricia (Terrasi) are sisters who share a love of wine, humor, and writing (excluding checkwriting). They are also among the growing number of parents raising children with disabilities. Inspired by the success of their sisterly heroines, Mary Kate and Ashley, and fed up with listening to parents brag about their “perfect children” and never asking about theirs, the sisters decided to seek therapy by writing a book. So in 2006, they self-published their first book, Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid! The Movement of Imperfection, which explores the humorous, heartwarming side of raising an imperfect child… Read More »

2015 Conference Keynote Speaker | Betsy Beaumon

Betsy Beaumon

Betsy Beaumon is the VP and General Manager of the Global Literacy Program at Benetech, a Silicon Valley nonprofit with a vision to serve humanity through technology. Her largest social enterprise service is Bookshare, an online accessible library serving over 300,000 users with print disabilities.  She also runs Route 66 Literacy, a service for adolescent and adult beginning readers, as well as the DIAGRAM Center, an R&D center focused on accessible images and math. Ms. Beaumon is an authority on digital accessible materials in education and coined the phrase “born accessible,” imagining a future in which all content, including mathematical… Read More »