LDA Legislative News – October 2018

New Director of OSEP Appointed After an extended period without a permanent director, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education has a new chief.  Laurie VanderPloeg, a longtime special educator and advocate, has been appointed as OSEP Director.  At the time of her appointment, Laurie was serving as president of the Council for Exceptional Children and had previously been president of the Council of Administrators of Special Education. The new director who hails from the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, followed in her mother’s footsteps to become a middle and high school special education teacher. … Read More »

Leading Organizations in the Field Challenge Myths about Learning Disabilities including Dyslexia

Myths about learning disabilities rob many of their potential to succeed and contribute in school and in the workplace, according to a white paper released during Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia Month in October by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA). IDA and LDA recognize that in the absence of accurate and early identification and intervention, individuals with learning disabilities are at grave risk of never accessing their full academic, creative, and career potential. The untapped potential of individuals with learning disabilities is not simply a matter of personal tragedy. Under-serving this significant population… Read More »

Core Principles: What are Learning Disabilities?

Learning Disabilities refer to a number of disorders which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information. These disorders affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities essential for thinking and/or reasoning. As such, learning disabilities are distinct from global intellectual deficiency. Learning disabilities result from impairments in one or more processes related to perceiving, thinking, remembering or learning. These include but are not limited to: language processing; phonological processing; visual spatial processing; processing speed; memory and attention; and executive functions (e.g., planning and decision-making). Learning disabilities range in severity and… Read More »

It’s Learning Disabilities Awareness Month!

The Learning Disabilities Association of America is working hard this month to shine the spotlight on learning disabilities. It’s important to focus less on the disabilities aspect and focus more on the incredible abilities so many of these individuals possess as well as to emphasize the phenomenal achievements and important strides so many of these individuals have made. A calendar, offering free webinars, links to great apps, and a wealth of information not only about learning disabilities, but additional resources that could be helpful to you and your family can be found by clicking here. Keep an eye on our social media and be sure to sign up… Read More »

President’s Message

Beth McGaw is the current LDA President. In this video, Beth highlights state conferences, the upcoming LDA of America Conference in February, and the importance of both voting and encouraging others to do the same. Return to LDA Today, Vol. 5 No. 5 – Home Page

Nominate Someone for the 2019 Harry Sylvester Award!

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 his… Read More »

Tell EPA: All Families Deserve Clean Air

In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed to roll back vehicle emission standards intended to decrease air pollution and greenhouse gases. The clean car standards have been in place since 2012 and are working to protect public health. The EPA’s much weaker “SAFE Vehicle” standards will result in worsening air pollution. While we typically connect smog and ozone to asthma and lung disease, studies show that air pollution harms children’s developing brains, putting them at higher risk for learning and behavior challenges. Rolling back standards that protect children’s health is the wrong direction. We have until October 26th to… Read More »

Meet Dr. Alba Ortiz

Dr. Alba Ortiz, our Wednesday Keynote speaker in Fort Worth, discusses helping English Language Learners with Learning Disabilities. This interview provides a constructive view on this subject, and her Keynote at LDA’s 56th Annual International Conference should be even more valuable. Return to LDA Today, Vol. 5 No. 5 – Home Page

Meet Eric McGehearty

Eric McGehearty, our Adult Luncheon speaker in Fort Worth, is a fascinating Entrepreneur with Dyslexia. In this interview, Eric provides some positive insights on the power of having dyslexia. Don’t miss this video and be sure to register today to catch his presentation at LDA’s 56th Annual International Conference in Fort Worth. Return to LDA Today, Vol. 5 No. 5 – Home Page

News From Affiliate Support/Membership Committee

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Congress Works to Address Critical School Mental Health Needs

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Sam Kirk Educator of the Year Award – 2019 Nominations

Each year the LDA of America selects an outstanding educator to receive the Sam Kirk Educator of the Year Award. This is an opportunity to give educators a well-deserved “thank you” and lets them know that they are greatly valued for their contributions to individuals with learning disabilities. The award is designed so that exceptional educators can be honored at the local, state and national levels. We hope that every local and state affiliate will participate! Procedures for Nominations The recipient of the Sam Kirk Educator of the Year Award must be “an educator who has made outstanding contributions to… Read More »

Why Come to Fort Worth for LDA’s 56th Annual International Conference?

Ernie Florence, a member of the Program Committee discusses both the great things to do in Fort Worth and the opportunity for attendees to get volunteer credit that will reduce the cost of attending the LDA Conference in Fort Worth. For those wanting to volunteer in Fort Worth, you can email Rachel Krueger from LDA of Texas at rachelkrueger02@gmail.com. This interview is definitely worth watching — it may well get you even more excited about coming to Fort Worth and perhaps even staying longer to see what Fort Worth has to offer. Return to LDA Today, Vol. 5 No. 5… Read More »

Marcia Livingston on Working With English-Language Learners

Marcia Livingston talks about education of teachers of English-Language Learners (ELL) as well as students with Specific Learning Disabilities and how to best work with both types of students, as well as students that may be in both groups, and what unique challenges they may face. Marcia’s video is relevant to the ELL Community — because of the increase in the number of ELL students and the tendency for general education teachers to have primary responsibility for the student’s success…Read More>>

Our 56th Annual International Conference is Coming Up Fast! Join us in Forth Worth!

Did you know that Fort Worth, Texas is the 16th largest city in the United States? It’s one of the top tourist destinations in Texas? It’s the city of Cowboys and Culture, where the West begins. ​ It will also be the site for LDA’s 56th International Conference to be held at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel on February 18-21, 2019! The outstanding program will feature keynote presentations from Anne Ford, Eric Tridas and Alba Ortiz. Nearly 200 additional sessions, Table Talks and Poster Sessions will cover a wide variety of topics of interest to families and professionals in the… Read More »

News From Affiliate Support/Membership Committee

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The Documentation Dilemma: Current vs Recent – What do colleges want?

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LDA Membership and Affiliate Update

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LDA Attends Dollar General Shareholder Meeting

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Nominating Committee Requests Recommendations for 2019-20 Officers and Board of Directors

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President’s Message

Beth McGaw is the current LDA President. In this video, Beth gives a brief overview of what to expect in this issue of LDA Today.

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Across the States

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I’m a Scientist with Learning Disabilities and That’s Okay!

Self-advocacy helped me become a scientist despite the negatives associated with my multiple learning disabilities “Collin, here are the letters you need to give to all of your professors,” my college’s disability resource official told me at the end of our learning disability assessment meeting. “That makes me nervous. Can’t you just tell all of my professors I have learning disabilities? Just email them,” I pleaded, scared to admit that I didn’t want to tell my professors I needed accommodations. How embarrassing. “No. We prefer all registered students to talk directly to their professors. It’s good practice, you’ll see.” I… Read More »

LDA Legislative News – July 2018

Collett Addresses Department Policy Lens Johnny Collett, Assistant Secretary of Education for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), U.S. Department of Education, recently addressed the lens through which his department will examine current and future policies related to children and youth with disabilities.  At a Town Hall sponsored by the Council for Exceptional Children and the Council of Administrators of Special Education, Collett said that “tinkering around the edges” will not suffice to provide a system that adequately serves individuals with disabilities. Collett noted that “systems change is not easy” and that it “doesn’t happen quickly.”  He said, in fact,… Read More »

LDA’s President featured in IMSE Journal

LDA’s own President, Beth McGaw was recently featured in the IMSE Journal. Take a look at this insightful article about our newest President’s journey to empower educators, parents and students to better support students with learning and attention issues – a journey which began long ago while working in another role: mom.

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