LDA Calls on Congressional Leaders

The members of the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) call upon you to issue a bipartisan statement and take whatever action possible to address domestic terrorism as perpetrated by neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and other groups espousing hate and fear.  The language and actions of those groups in Charlottesville do not represent American values and serve to marginalize and terrorize a vast number of people in our wonderful country. Read More…

Interactive Workshops for Educators and Parents to Learn Strategies to Foster Success for Children with Learning Disabilities/ADHD

Parents and teachers will learn to remove roadblocks and create pathways to support children with learning disabilities/ADHD in the classroom and home in a one-day regional workshop presented by the Learning Disabilities Association of America in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Oct. 14, and in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 4. The track for general education teachers “Removing Roadblocks – Understanding and Supporting Students with LD/ADHD in the Mainstream Classroom” will feature Allen Broyles, LDA Board of Directors, Assistant Head of School, The Children’s School, Atlanta, Georgia, and Scott Hamilton, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Assistant Head of School and High School Principal, The… Read More »

Back to School Tips for Families of Students with Learning Disabilities

 by: Analisa Smith, 2nd Vice President of LDA Students are starting back to school for a new school year. Parents and teachers will be looking for tips to start the school year off right. This is a great opportunity for affiliates and local chapters to reach out to parents and educators with back to school tips for students with learning disabilities.  Review and Know the IEP The IEP lays out what the student should be learning and the focus of instruction for the academic year. Make sure the IEP still follows the student’s need and the accommodations are relevant. Know… Read More »

House Committee Votes Deep Education Cuts

by Myrna Mandlawitz, LDA Public Policy Director Without the advantage of knowing first the total amount they have to spend for the next fiscal year, the House Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations Subcommittee went ahead to develop a bill for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 2018) $5 billion below the current budget cap.  Within a week after the subcommittee vote, the full House Appropriations Committee approved basically the same bill, which cuts U.S. Department of Education programs by $4.2 billion (6.2%) below the current funding level. This House committee action is just one step in the process of determining final spending… Read More »

LDA Speaks At Senate Press Conference: Advocates for Ban on Pesticide Linked to Learning Disabilities and ADHD

by Maureen Swanson, Healthy Children Project Director In late July, LDA leaders traveled to Washington, DC, along with colleagues from health, labor and community justice groups, to advocate for a ban on the nerve-damaging pesticide “chlorpyrifos” – widely used on fruit and vegetable crops across the country.  Scientific studies overwhelmingly find that prenatal and early childhood exposures to chlorpyrifos, even at low levels, disrupt children’s brain development and can result in loss of IQ, problems with behavior and attention, and learning and developmental disabilities. LDA was invited to participate in Senator Tom Udall’s press conference, held July 25 on the… Read More »

Nominating Committee Requests Recommendations for 2018-19 Officers and Board of Directors

The work to develop a slate of officers and board of directors for presentation at the LDA 2018 Assembly of Delegates in Atlanta is now underway. The nominating committee is searching for candidates with leadership and team-building skills as prospective leaders for our organization. A commitment to work for the goals of LDA is a requirement for those who will fill these positions. Nomination forms were distributed in May and are available through your state affiliate or the national office info@ldaamerica.org. Your help is needed to find worthy candidates and to submit completed applications to the nominating committee. The deadline for submission of forms is August 31. The Board of Directors is the governing body of LDA that enacts policies, adopts plans, monitors programs and services, and sets priorities of the organization subject to the approval of the Assembly of Delegates. Prospective candidates must be members of LDA in good standing. Board responsibilities include attending board meetings, helping to establish the organization’s policy, serving on and/or chairing committees, supporting financial appeals, and working to further the goals of LDA. Board members may be called on… Read More »

Now Accepting Nominations for the 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 »

Transitioning to Postsecondary Education: Changes and Challenges

Candace Joles, Adult Topics Committee Co-Chair Throughout the K-12 education of a student with learning disabilities (LD) and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), s/he is under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) federal law with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), which ceases to exist as soon as the student exits high school. However, if a student with LD and/or AD/HD does not qualify for an IEP, a 504 Plan (under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) may be initiated in the K-12 system. A 504 Plan follows the person throughout his/her life (i.e., postsecondary and work). See… Read More »

LDA Legislative News – July|August 2017

House Committee Votes Deep Education Cuts Without the advantage of knowing first the total amount they have to spend for the next fiscal year, the House Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations Subcommittee went ahead to develop a bill for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 2018) $5 billion below the current budget cap.  Within a week after the subcommittee vote, the full House Appropriations Committee approved basically the same bill, which cuts U.S. Department of Education programs by $4.2 billion (6.2%) below the current funding level. This House committee action is just one step in the process of determining final spending levels… Read More »

LDA Partners with Kula Causes to make your shopping count for LDA

ATLANTA, GA and PITTSBURGH, PA – The Learning Disabilities Association of America (“LDA”), which offers support for parents, educators, adults with LD and professionals at the national level as well as through a network of state affiliates, is making every shopping transaction count through a new partnership with Kula Causes, Inc. (“kula”) LDA supporters can earn donations for the Learning Disabilities Association of America when they shop their favorite retailers and brands in the kula SED (Shop, Earn, Donate) ecosystem.  Members simply shop through kula’s network of multi-channel retail partners and earn a percent back on each transaction which is then… Read More »

Toxic Chemicals in Macaroni and Cheese?!

Toxic chemicals called “phthalates” can harm babies’ brain development and were found in macaroni and cheese powder and in other cheese products! In fact, phthalates were found in eight of nine individual Kraft cheese products tested, and in other companies’ products too. Kraft is by far the largest producer of mac ‘n cheese. LDA is part of a coalition asking Kraft to switch to safer processing and packaging to get these toxic chemicals out of their products and protect our children’s health. Parents and schools should never have to wonder if there are toxic chemicals in the mac ‘n cheese!… Read More »

Questions Parents and Educators Can Ask to Start Conversations About Using Terms Like Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia

When parents and educators use the same terms to describe a child’s challenges, it’s easier for them to communicate and work together. Parents and educators may have different opinions about specific terms like dyslexia or more general terms like learning disabilities. Understanding these terms and agreeing on which to use can help prevent confusion and conflict. It can also lead to a shared understanding of a child’s needs. Eleven diverse national organizations joined together to develop ideas for having this conversation. We hope this resource will add clarity so terminology doesn’t get in the way. Then parents and educators can… Read More »

LDA Coordinates Leading Experts on Lead

Lead poisoning affects children in communities throughout the country; even low levels of lead can harm brain development, and result in learning disabilities and attention problems. The good news is lead poisoning is entirely preventable; we can solve this problem and protect children from lead poisoning once and for all. Last month, LDA convened a group of scientists and health experts to take those messages to Congress. The group met with U.S. House and Senate offices to share a national strategy for eliminating lead poisoning in children. The experts published their recommendations for eliminating lead exposures in a May 15… Read More »

Groups Appeal EPA’s Refusal To Ban Dangerous Pesticide

MEDIA CONTACT: Maureen Swanson, Healthy Children Project Director, Project TENDR Co-Director, Learning Disabilities Association of America Chlorpyrifos is linked to long-term damage in children’s developing brains Pittsburgh, PA (June 6, 2017) –Today, a dozen health and labor organizations represented by Earthjustice filed an administrative appeal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, urging the federal government to ban chlorpyrifos, a widely used agricultural pesticide that has been linked to reduced IQ, loss of working memory and attention deficit disorder in children. It is up to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to decide the appeal. This direct appeal to the EPA appeal was filed… Read More »

School Year to Summer Learning: Making the Big Transition

Kristina Scott, LDA State Presidents’ Representative Summer is quickly sneaking up on us! With the school year dwindling down there is often end of the year parties, moving on ceremonies, field trips, and nervous excitement as our children begin to anticipate the summer months that lay ahead. For students that need a highly structured environment these changes are often met with anxiety rather than excitement. To help students navigate this anxious time of the year it is helpful to provide some structure to aide this transition from school routine to summer activities. One way to do this, and to work… Read More »

Be an LDA Advocate: Keep Up with Your State/Federal Legislators!

by Shirley Hilts-Adams, Co-Chair, Public Policy Committee Have you ever wondered what your Representative’s or Senators’ opinion was or how they voted on issues of concern to you? Do you know on what committees they serve? Do you know where their local district offices are or how to contact them? By visiting www.congress.gov/members, you can connect with the webpage of your Representative and Senators and find answers to these questions and more! You can also sign up for their free periodic news bulletins providing insights on pending or future legislation. You can also do the same for your state Representatives and… Read More »

Nominating Committee Requests Recommendations for 2018-19 Officers and Board of Directors

B.J. Wiemer, Chairman, Nominating Committee The work to develop a slate of officers and board of directors for presentation at the LDA 2018 Assembly of Delegates in Atlanta is now underway. The nominating committee is searching for candidates with leadership and team-building skills as prospective leaders for our organization. A commitment to work for the goals of LDA is a requirement for those who will fill these positions. Nomination forms were distributed in May and are available through your state affiliate or the national office info@ldaamerica.org. Your help is needed to find worthy candidates and to submit completed applications to… Read More »

Interview with a Successful Graduate

Julia Frost, Director, Jones Learning Center, University of the Ozarks, Clarksville, Arkansas Janae Cantu graduated cum laude from the University of the Ozarks on May 13, with a degree in sociology.  This in itself is not remarkable until you hear a bit about Janae’s story Describe your learning disability and how it affects you in and out of school.  I have severe dyslexia.  Reading doesn’t come naturally to me.  You can tell me a word, and five minutes later I don’t know it.  It doesn’t stick.  Also, communicating my thoughts on paper is challenging.  In school, it affects me a… Read More »

LDA Position Statement: Supporting a Strong Public Education System for All Students

The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) supports a strong public education system as essential to ensuring equality of educational opportunities for all students, including students with learning disabilities.  Diverting public funds to private and sectarian schools through vouchers, tuition tax credits, education savings accounts, and portability will serve the opposite purpose, negatively affecting students with disabilities, children in poverty, and students in rural areas, among others. Private and sectarian schools are not accountable to the public. Specifically for students with learning disabilities, these institutions are not required to meet the responsibilities of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)… Read More »

Retailers to child care programs must act to provide non-toxic products, new report finds

Retailers selling directly to early care and education programs, including child care programs and Head Start, need to do more to screen out harmful chemicals, a new report to be released Monday finds. The report released today by the Getting Ready for Baby coalition, “Selling Safer Products for Early Care and Education,” is the first assessment of these niche retailers who target directly to early care and education programs, including child care and preschools. It assessed policies on chemicals in products they sell, and how transparent retailers were, and found: While nearly all (22 of 24) retailers use certifications to identify chemically-safer… Read More »

LDA Legislative News – May 2017

raw][/raw] Congress Finalizes FY 2017 Spending Eight months into the current federal fiscal year (FY 2017), Congress has finally passed an omnibus spending bill.  At the same time, House and Senate appropriations committees already are deep in discussion on FY 2018, which begins on October 1, 2017.  The FY 2017 numbers are very close overall to the FY 2016 spending levels, with special education among accounts receiving a small increase.  This is significant, since the Department of Education had one of the largest decreases across the federal agencies. The FY 2017 bill provides $68.2 billion for the U.S. Department of… Read More »

Regional Workshops 2017

Removing Roadblocks and Creating Pathways: Supporting Children with LD/ADHD in the Classroom and at Home LDA is proud to present two regional workshops with appropriate tracks for both Parents and Professionals this fall in Dallas, Texas and Nashua, New Hampshire! Who should attend? General Education Teachers, Special Education Teachers, School Administrators, Parents, Caregivers and Anyone who wants to learn more about helping children with learning disabilities. For Professionals: Removing Roadblocks – Understanding and Supporting Students with LD/ADHD in the Mainstream Classroom. Featured Speakers: Allen Broyles, LDA Board of Directors, Assistant Head of School, The Children’s School, Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Scott… Read More »

Members In Action:

Kimberley Spire-Oh, Esquire
West Palm Beach, FL
LDA of Florida co-president

I have recently been on a campaign to get attention to the problems with current school choice policies and proposals for expansion of privatization of schools. It started out as a simple op-ed in The Palm Beach Post. This led to conversations with reporters from The New York Times and National Public Radio (NPR). I also found a general inquiry for someone to talk to EdWeek about the subject. Although I wasn’t directly quoted in the articles included here, I was able to give them extensive information, including legal background on the issues surrounding school choice policies and current proposals for expansion… Read More »

Thank You to our 2017 Annual Conference Sponsors

by Mary-Clare Reynolds, Executive Director Each year, LDA seeks support for our annual conference and this year was no exception. It is very gratifying to receive the backing from these companies, schools and individuals to allow us to continue to provide this premier conference each year. We are pleased to report the following generous donors who helped fund our 54th Annual Conference in Baltimore in February. We are ever grateful for their support of our annual conference, and of LDA.   Return to LDA Today, Vol.4 No.2- Home Page

President’s Message

by Pat Lillie, LDA President Every February marks the beginning of a new year for the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA).  Committees submit work plans and goals for the year, conference planning for the next year’s conference – in this case the 2018 LDA Conference in Atlanta gets underway, and the Finance Committee delves into budget development.  The Public Policy Committee doesn’t start anew, it continues working on what came before, reacts to what is happening now and tries to get ready for what might happen next.  In February the LDA Board of Directors welcomed two new members Rose Calloway from Georgia and Nancy Hammill from New Jersey. We look forward to… Read More »