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

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. I started with an op-ed in The Palm Beach Post, which led to being contacted by The New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR), and I also responded to a general inquiry from EdWeek. Although I have not been directly quoted in these articles, I was able to give them extensive legal background, and many of the stories that are being featured are my clients. New York Times: Special Ed School Vouchers and the… 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 »

How is LDA Doing in 2017?

by Pat Latham, Past LDA President As a Past President of LDA, I have had the opportunity to be involved over the years and would like to briefly reflect on the state of LDA in 2017. LDA’s Mission Statement is as follows: “LDA’s mission is to create opportunities for success for all individuals affected by learning disabilities and to reduce the incidence of learning disabilities in future generations.” I believe LDA has been effective in carrying out its mission and, over the years, has worked hard to increase its effectiveness. Overall, LDA is well positioned in 2017 to continue moving forward successfully in… Read More »

LDA Connects with Parents and Teachers in Baltimore

by Ann Kornblet, LDA Conference General Chair The 54th Annual LDA International Conference, February 16 – 19, was a grand success! Attendees from all over the US and from many other countries enjoyed four days of learning, networking and sightseeing at the beautiful Baltimore Marriott Waterfront at the Inner Harbor. LDA of Maryland was the perfect host. Led by Judy Lantz, LDA of Maryland President, the Maryland volunteers did a wonderful job all week by supporting the national staff and the 900 attendees. A special thank you to Bonnie Massimino for managing all the Maryland volunteers. The week began by many… Read More »

Moving, School Records, and IEPs

IDEA provides guidelines for a child with a disability transferring to another school in or out of district within the same state or out of state. The guidelines are specific as to the child’s right to have a free appropriate public education with services that are comparable to those in the previous IEP. It is important that the parents get copies of school records for their files, check with the new and existing schools to be sure the transfer request is made, make sure all records related to special or related services are included, and follow up with both schools… Read More »

Advocates Succeed in Derailing Health Care Bill

by: Myrna Mandlawitz, LDA Policy Director The Administration’s stated intention to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prompted swift action from LDA, as the organization engaged with a broad array of national organizations, including disability, education, civil rights, and health care advocates. With the introduction of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in March, LDA and its partners engaged in direct advocacy on Capitol Hill and mobilized grassroots advocates, ultimately succeeding in defeating a bill that would have caused serious negative impacts on individuals with learning disabilities. LDA had several significant concerns about the AHCA.  First and foremost… Read More »

Across the States: Affiliate Accolades and Volunteer Recognition

by: Kristina Scott, State Presidents’ Representative Welcome home from the LDA National Conference! It was a great conference with a lot of networking and sharing in each other’s accomplishments. There were many affiliate accolades and volunteers to recognize this year. This article looks to provide you with a recap about each of these projects and highlights some amazing volunteers this year! Georgia, where our 2018 annual LDA conference is to be held, has been working tirelessly on a “Revitalizing Georgia” campaign. They have begun this campaign by focusing on new branding and new marketing to rejuvenate their current membership and… Read More »

Summertime is the Right Time to Build Your Child’s Social Skills.

by: Nancy Hammill, Education Committee Social skills are the skills we use to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures and body language.  Social skills are basically what the community at large and your grandmother call manners – polite behaviors that are supposed to reflect an attitude of consideration, kindness, and respect for others. Children with poor social skills or manners, often become easy targets for bullies and experience rejection and isolation.  Social skills affect your child’s social relationships, communication, self-esteem, and future career choices.  Manners Matter! People automatically assume that everyone knows these skills… Read More »

2017 LDA Awards

One of the highlights of each LDA Conference is the presentation of awards to our members who have accomplished outstanding feats in fulfilling the mission of the Learning Disabilities Association of America on behalf of all individuals with learning disabilities. The Awards,  presented at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland, at the 2017 Conference continued this practice. The following individuals were the recipients of this year’s awards. President’s Award The 2017 President’s Award was presented to Jonathan Jones for his many years of outstanding service to individuals with Learning Disabilities and/or Attention Disorders, by LDA of America President Patricia… Read More »

Learning Disabilities Association of America says EPA Decision not to Ban Dangerous Pesticide Ignores Established Science and Puts Children at Greater Risk for Learning, Attention, and Behavior Disorders

MEDIA CONTACT: Maureen Swanson, Director Healthy Children Project,, 724.813.9684, Project TENDR website: Learning Disabilities Association of America says EPA Decision not to Ban Dangerous Pesticide Ignores Established Science and Puts Children at Greater Risk for Learning, Attention, and Behavior Disorders Pittsburgh, PA (March 30, 2017) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to allow the dangerous pesticide chlorpyrifos to continue to be used on farm fields and crops puts children and future generations at greater risk of learning and developmental disabilities, attention and behavior disorders, according to the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA). In 2016, a group of nearly… Read More »

LDA Legislative News – March 2017

President’s Funding Proposals Would Seriously Harm LDA Priorities On March 16, the White House released the president’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018 (School Year 2018-19), which will begin on October 1, 2017.  That budget contains draconian cuts to LDA priority programs, including education, job training, physical and mental health, environmental protection, and juvenile justice.  Overall the budget would cut discretionary spending, except for defense, by $54 billion, while increasing defense, homeland security, and veterans’ affairs by an almost equivalent amount. Among the agencies hardest hit are the Departments of Labor and Education and the Environmental Protection Agency.  As an… Read More »

Manju Banerjee to Serve on Professional Advisory Board of Learning Disabilities Association of America

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary-Clare Reynolds, LDA Executive Director, 412.341.1515, ext. 206 Manju Banerjee to Serve on Professional Advisory Board of LDA Pittsburgh, PA (March 28, 2017) – Manju Banerjee, Ph.D., of Putney VT, was elected to a three-year term on the Professional Advisory Board of the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA). Dr. Banerjee is Vice President of Educational Research and Innovation at Landmark College in Putney, VT. A certified diagnostician and teacher-consultant on learning disabilities, Banerjee has over 30 years of experience in the field of learning disabilities, ADHD, and postsecondary disability services. Dr. Banerjee received her doctoral degree from the… Read More »

Court Finds Middle Ground in Endrew F. Decision

LDA joined with the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) and 42 other national organizations to file an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in the Supreme Court case Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District.  This case was the first reexamination of the “free appropriate public education” standard by the Supreme Court since the Rowley decision in 1982.  Under the earlier case, the Court held that a child received a FAPE when the services provided to her “confer some educational benefit,” and this has consistently been the standard since that decision. The 10th Circuit which heard Endrew below applied a… Read More »

Request for Comments: Proposed Guidelines on Accessibility of Digital Content

LDA has been asked by the Cognitive Task Force (COGA) of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to respond to its request for comments on the accessibility of digital content by individuals with learning disabilities. (This includes how someone with a learning disability accesses information or may take a test via a computer.) You are encouraged to share this request with other individuals (including parents, students, educators, and adults with learning disabilities) or groups who have insights into the needs of people with cognitive and learning disabilities. Comments may be submitted by individuals or groups. Please see below for details.… Read More »

2018 Call for Proposals

Learning Disabilities Association of America is seeking submissions for the 2018 Conference to be held in Atlanta, GA February 21-24, 2018. Anyone wishing to present a paper, conduct a workshop, provide an informational session, or make a formal presentation is invited to submit a proposal. Read more here

Call to Action: Preserve Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act!

Contact your Congressional Representatives, State Legislators, and Governors NOW! Members and Friends of LDA, The House of Representatives is expected to introduce a bill to cut Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on February 27 and immediately to begin work on the bill in the House committee. The result would be two major blows to individuals with disabilities. Reach out to your federal and state legislators and the Governor’s office in your state and tell them that repealing the ACA and replacing it with a plan that CUTS Medicaid is unacceptable. People’s health, services, and lives are at stake! … Read More »

President’s Message

by Patricia Lillie, LDA of America President Early in February we received a message from LDA Policy Director, Myrna Mandlawitz; a message extremely relevant to the topic of this article – LDA Core Beliefs. Later, LDA as a member, received notice from the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities, that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) web page, had disappeared from the Department of Education website, but contained a message that stated: Please note that in the U. S. the federal role in education is limited. Because of the Tenth Amendment, most educational policy is decided at the state and local levels.… Read More »

115th Congress Organizing for New Session

by Myrna, Mandlawitz, LDA Policy Director The 115th Congress began on January 1, 2017.   Generally when a new Congress is seated, especially after a presidential election and change in Administration, they do not get to work until after the inauguration.  This Congress changed that practice and began work immediately.  Part of that process is selection of committee chairmen and ranking members, and that activity is well under way. LDA encourages its members to be active in developing relationships with their representatives and senators, especially when those individuals hold key position in the Congress.  The organization closely follows the activities of… Read More »

A Tribute to Dr. Jean Lokerson

by Mary-Clare Reynolds, LDA Executive Director Dr. Jean Lokerson, a true pioneer in the LDA family and a long time volunteer at both the state (Virginia) and national levels of LDA passed away in November. She served on the Professional Advisory Board, Board of Directors and Executive Committee. In addition to these elected positions, Jean served on numerous committees over many years including Bylaws/Policy, Education and Public Policy. Her longest serving committee role was with the annual conference Program Committee, which she chaired in 1992 and 2007. She instituted the ever popular ‘Table Talk for Teachers’ sessions in 1989, and… Read More »

LDA’s New Alliance with the Job Accommodation Network

by Patti White, Adult Topics Committee In September 2016, the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) and the Learning Disabilities Association of American (LDA) established a collaborative relationship to promote the employment of people with disabilities through inclusive work practices.  This collaborative alliance will conduct outreach, education, and technical assistance activities that promote reasonable accommodation and retention of individuals with disabilities. More specifically, JAN and LDA agreed to work together to carry out four (4) activities: Collaborate on the planning and promotion of best practices, including but not limited to blog articles, FAQ documents and Skype videos. Promote and disseminate information on… Read More »

LDA Officers and Directors Elected

The following officers and directors were elected by the Assembly of Delegates during their Annual Meeting on Friday, February 17, 2017, at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. Patricia M. Lillie, LDA President, will continue in the second year of her two-year term. 1st Vice President: 1-year term, 2017-2018 Beth McGaw, Texas Beth McGaw became an outspoken advocate for children with learning disabilities after her youngest son was diagnosed at an early age. She has served the LDA Georgia state chapter as vice president and was voted Volunteer of the Year in 2009. Although Beth started her career… Read More »

Healthy Children Project: Calling on dollar stores to sell safe products

by Maureen Swanson and Tracy Gregoire We believe all families have a right to affordable and safe products. That is why the LDA is proud to be a member of the Campaign for Healthier Solutions asking dollar stores to remove harmful chemicals in their products. Discount retail stores (commonly known as “dollar stores”) operate over 24,000 stores nationally, more than Walmart. In many communities, dollar stores may be the only source of products and food. Sadly, testing of over 150 dollar store products found dangerous chemicals in 81% of the products tested. Many toxic chemicals – including the lead found in… Read More »

Success in the Workplace for Women with Learning Disabilities

by Julia Frost, Chairman, Adult Topics Committee The Adult Topics Committee again designed a workshop for the national conference that proved to be of interest to many in our organization. “Success in the Workplace for Women with LD” was held on Friday, February 17th at the conference in Baltimore. As a result of our recent alliance with Job Accommodation Network (JAN), Anne Hirsh, JAN’s Co-director, moderated the panel. Panelists were all women with learning disabilities who have experienced success in the workplace. They were: (from left to right in the picture below. Anne is on the far right.) Melanie Whetzel,… Read More »