LDA’s Maureen Swanson Testifies in Washington DC

Maureen Swanson, Healthy Children Project Director, testified in Washington, D.C. in September about the dangers of organohalogen flame retardants. Read her full testimony here.

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

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

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

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Interview with a Successful Graduate

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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 »

Members In Action:Kimberley Spire-Oh, EsquireWest Palm Beach, FLLDA 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 »

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, mswanson@ldaamerica.org, 724.813.9684, Project TENDR website: http://projecttendr.com/ 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 »