Janeen Steel, Chair
Ms. Steel is a leading attorney in education, disability & civil rights law. She is the founder of the Learning Rights Law Center in Los Angeles, CA (LRLC). The LRLC fights to achieve education equity for underserved families in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. The LRLC provides free and low-cost legal representation, advice, advocacy and training to children, their families and communities who, as a consequence of disability or discrimination, have been denied equal access to a public education. Their vision is for all children to receive a meaningful and equitable public education which empowers them to grow into happy, productive, and independent adults.
The LRLC is an extraordinary legal services provider that focuses entirely on the education of children with disabilities. Ms. Steel founded it shortly after graduating from law school. Ms. Steel has a learning disability, and she shares this in her public speeches.
David Allsopp, Ph.D.
Dr. Allsopp is professor of special education, Assistant Dean of Educator Preparation and Partnerships, and Endowed Chair/Director of the David C. Anchin Center in the College of Education at the University of South Florida. He teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, focusing on instructional methods for students with high incidence disabilities and research methods for developing and validating effective practices for students with disabilities. During his 23 years in academia, he has contributed extensively to the field of special education through research, writing, resource development, and presentations. In addition to numerous peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters, Dr. Allsopp is co-author of five books including Teaching Mathematics Meaningfully: Solutions for Struggling Learners(2nd Edition), Mathematics RTI: A Problem Solving Approach to Creating an Effective Model, and Academic Success Strategies for Adolescents with Learning Disabilities and ADHD, which has been published in three languages including English.
Elsa Cardenas-Hagan, Ed.D.
Dr. Cardenas-Hagan has long been advocating for individuals with learning disabilities, especially underserved and often misclassified English Language Learners who also have learning disabilities and/or who struggle to acquire literacy skills. Her passion for these learners inspired her to author Esperanza, a Spanish language curriculum for striving readers who primarily speak Spanish. Elsa and her colleague recently did a webinar for LDA on remote learning and English Language Learners.
Elsa is currently Chair of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities, of which LDA is a member. Elsa worked with Dr. Gad Elbeheri to establish IDA’s Global Partners in recognition that dyslexia and learning disabilities impact individuals around the globe. While recognizing the need for robust evidence-based core curriculum and tiered interventions, Elsa also fervently supports a role for cognitive assessment in the identification of learning disabilities.
Scott Decker, Ph.D.
Scott Decker, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Carolina. He graduated from the Ball State University School Psychology program in 2001 with a specialty in neuropsychology and research methodology. While in graduate school, Dr. Decker was a supervisor for a school psychology clinic, research director for the neuropsychology laboratory, and provided consultation for local schools. After graduation, Dr. Decker worked at Riverside Publishing as a neuropsychological test developer. While at Riverside Publishing he worked on numerous test projects including the Woodcock-Johnson Third Edition Tests of Cognitive Abilities and Tests of Achievement, the WJ-III Diagnostic Supplement, Dean-Woodcock Neuropsychological Assessment System, and Stanford-Binet Fifth Edition. Additionally, he was a co-author of the Bender-Gestalt Second Edition. In 2003, Dr. Decker taught neuropsychology and research methodology at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Dr. Decker served in a joint appointment at the University of Illinois at Chicago Neuropsychiatric Institute as a pediatric neuropsychologist where he worked with children with a variety of developmental disorders and neuropsychological problems. Dr. Decker has taught neuropsychology at Georgia State University where he was also involved in the Language Research Center investigating primate cognition and comparative methodologies in applications to child cognitive development.
Dr. Decker is currently at the University of South Carolina where he teaches and does research in the areas of neuropsychological assessment, QEEG measures of brain activity, diagnostic decision making, academic assessment, development, and evolutionary psychology. He regularly conducts workshops involving neuropsychological assessment for school districts in various locations across the U.S.
Douglas Fuchs, Ph.D.
Douglas Fuchs, Ph.D. is Professor and Nicholas Hobbs Chair in Special Education and Human Development and a member of the Vanderbilt-Kennedy Center. Before joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 1985, Fuchs was an assistant first-grade teacher in a private school in Baltimore for children with severe behavior problems; a fourth-grade classroom teacher in a public school outside Philadelphia; and a school psychologist in the Minneapolis Public Schools.
At Vanderbilt, he has been principal investigator of 50 federally-sponsored research grants. They have facilitated development of models of service delivery (e.g., pre-referral intervention, responsiveness-to-intervention, reintegrating students with disabilities into mainstream classrooms); assessments (e.g., formative measures of student and teacher evaluation, dynamic assessment); and instructional approaches (e.g., peer-mediated learning strategies). He is currently exploring the importance of “hybrid” cognitively-focused and skills-based academic interventions for most difficult-to-teach children.
Fuchs is the author or co-author of more than 300 articles in peer-review journals and 60 book chapters. He has won several best paper awards, including the Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award (American Educational Research Association), the Division 16 Fellow’s Award (American Psychological Association), the Samuel A. Kirk Award (Division for Learning Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children), and Best Paper of the Year Award (National Association of School Psychologists). He was recently identified by Thomson Reuters as among the 250 most frequently cited researchers in the social sciences in the United States from 2000-2010, inclusive. In 2009, he was described as one of 14 “revolutionary educators” by Forbes Magazine; in 2008, he was among “100 Distinguished Alumni” in the first 100 years of the College of Education and Human Development of the University of Minnesota; in 2005, he was awarded Vanderbilt University’s Earl Sutherland Prize for Achievement in Research; in 2003, he was given the Career Research Award by the Council for Exceptional Children.
Harold Jordan currently coordinates a statewide ACLU program on youth justice and education equity. His work is focused on stopping the school-to-prison-pipeline by building awareness, educating school leaders, and examining and addressing the root causes of exclusionary discipline and unequal education outcomes for marginalized youth including minority students.
Timothy King, Ed.D.
Timothy King, Ed.D., is an education professional with nearly two decades of experience. Dr. King holds a B.S. in Special Education, a M. Ed in Educational Leadership, and in 2017 he completed his Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Special Education through Nova Southeastern University. Dr. King has presented at the LDA Conferences with sessions on parent/teacher collaboration and a model of interventions and supports (including increased MH support) to produce positive results in the area of school discipline. At the 2019 LDA Conference he was on the panel for the Justice Committee Workshop, Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline, and discussed programs that successfully work to disrupt the pipeline. He is a founder of Crowning Moments Consultants that provides educational supports and services for schools, institutions, students and families such as staff training, data analysis, and policy and procedure development. Dr. King has translated his academic work into real life programs that positively affect students.
Heidi Konkler-Goldsmith, JD
Ms. Goldsmith has been serving the needs of children and families in the area of special education for 20 years. Prior to founding Bradley and Goldsmith Law, Ms. Goldsmith practiced law at McAndrews Law Offices. During her 19 years at McAndrews Law, Ms. Goldsmith became a Shareholder of the firm and was Supervising Shareholder of the Special Education for almost 10 years. Ms. Goldsmith is the Parent Attorney Representative to the Stakeholders Council of the Office for Dispute Resolution. Ms. Goldsmith has spoken frequently at National and State-Wide Special Education Conferences including the LDA, Arthritis Foundation, COPPA and PBI. Ms. Konkler-Goldsmith offers substantial expertise in the area of Special Education Law and handles a wide variety of special education matters, civil litigation cases and criminal justice issues.
George McCloskey, Ph.D.
George McCloskey, Ph.D., is a professor and Director of School Psychology Research in the School of Professional and Applied Psychology of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and holds Diplomate status with the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology. Dr. McCloskey has amassed 40 years of experience in test development, teaching, research and assessment and intervention work with a wide range of clients and has developed a comprehensive model of executive functions that can be used to guide assessment and intervention. He frequently presents at international, national, and state conferences and consults with a number of school districts and private schools nationwide on issues related to improving students’ executive functions.
Dr. McCloskey is the lead author of the books Assessment and Intervention for Executive Function Difficulties and Essentials of Executive Functions Assessment and his most recent writing on interventions for executive function and executive skills difficulties appears in Chapter 10 of the book Essentials of Planning, Selecting, and Tailoring Interventions for Unique Learners. He also is the author of the McCloskey Executive Functions Scales (MEFS) that have been standardized and published with Schoolhouse Educational Services. Dr. McCloskey is co-author with his wife, Laurie McCloskey of the children’s book titled The Day Frankie Left His Frontal Lobes at Home.
Dr. Mary Murray
Dr. Murray is Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs at Bowling Green State University. She is a Professor in the School of Intervention Services. She is the parent of an adult daughter with specific learning disabilities who is now a middle school special education teacher with a master’s degree.
Dr. Murray is focused on parent-teacher relationships – recipient of a statewide grant to train teachers, administrators, and parents. She has trained 80 school districts in 5 years. She has trained numerous districts and colleges on co-teaching, differentiation, parent/teacher partnerships and developed the first dual licensure program in Ohio in 2013. It is the largest undergrad program at BGSU with more than 900 students enrolled. She is the previous chair of Ohio State Advisory Council for Exceptional Children.
Dr. Sam Ortiz
Dr. Ortiz is a Professor of Psychology at St. John’s University. He is an expert on the impact of culture and language on student learning. He is an author, presenter, and faculty member at St. John’s University. He is bilingual and bicultural. He has been involved with sld identification and interventions for more than two decades. Dr. Ortiz is a sought after presenter and well received in the field.
Dr. Anneke Schreuder
Dr. Anneke Schreuder is a Dutch pediatrician and neonatologist, with a particular interest in the field of developmental epidemiology. It brought her to several hospitals and research centers in the Netherlands, South Africa, and Oxford, UK. After the family moved to Katy, Texas, where she currently resides, her daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia. This brought her deeper into the world of learning disabilities. For several years, she worked as a dyslexia tester/tutor at UT Health Science Center.
Seeing many students struggling in math as well as in reading, she decided to return to her area of expertise and passion, math. Awareness, communication, research, and remediation of Dyscalculia are her mission. In 2010, she started Dyscalculia Services to provide assessments, in-person, and online tutoring for children and adults, and to assist parents in supporting their children’s learning. In her practice, Dr. Schreuder follows and implements the latest research on the subject of learning disabilities and best practices for intervention.
Dr. Schreuder has a longstanding interest in neuro-imaging and neuro-developmental pediatrics and the relationship with early childhood development and education. Her enthusiasm and love for knowledge called her to do research, resulting in her thesis describing the statistics of the medical, behavioral, and early educational follow up of very preterm born babies at the time of the entry of formal education, with a particular emphasis on vision and language development.
Dr. Schreuder is a dedicated and active LDA Texas Board Member. She is responsible as the LDATX Outreach Community Coordinator for answering questions asked by individuals seeking guidance for learning disability resources.
Dr. Schreuder is a frequent speaker on Dyscalculia on podcasts and webinars, a consultant to various local schools, and has developed a series of online courses.
Edward Schultz, Ph.D.
Dr. Schultz began his career working with children with significant mental health needs prior to becoming a special educator teacher and educational diagnostician. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degree at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX. and earned his PhD at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. He currently is an Associate Professor and a distinguished West scholar at the West College of Education at Midwestern State University. In addition to teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses at MSU, he is also program coordinator for the educational diagnostician and special education teacher program .He is the co-author of the Core-Selective Evaluation Process (C-SEP) and has written numerous peer-reviewed articles, presented at the national and international level, and has provided trainings across the country to schools and state departments of education. His areas of expertise include SLD identification, multi-tiered systems of support, and emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD).
Eric Tridas, M.D.
Dr. Tridas practiced developmental and behavioral pediatrics in the Tampa Bay Area for 37 years and is a Clinical Associate Professor in Pediatrics at the University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine. He is Medical Director of The Tridas Group, a software company that developed an application that generates a customized evaluation report. Dr. Tridas is a member of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities,and Past President of the International Dyslexia Association. He is also the State Medical Director for Pediatric Health Choice-Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Facilities (PPEC). Dr. Tridas is the recipient of the 2017 International Dyslexia Association Margaret Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the International Dyslexia Association Sylvia Richardson Hall of Fame. He also received the 2012 IMSLEC Innovator Award. Dr. Tridas edited and co-authored From ABC to ADHD: What Every Parent Should Know About Dyslexia and Attention Problems. In addition, he lectures and consults nationally and internationally on behavioral and developmental pediatrics topics.