New Research on Educational Options after High School

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Candidates for 2017-2020 LDA Officers and Board Members

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54th Annual LDA International Conference in Baltimore

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With Your Help, LDA Makes It Possible! Educate! Advocate! Support!

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Iowa State University’s Bacon Expo 2016

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My Successful Transition Story

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LDA Legislative News – November 2016

Election Impact on Disability Policy Unclear It is too soon to tell what impact the change in Administration will have on disability policy. LDA will have a better sense once decisions are made about who will lead the Cabinet agencies, including Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice. However, as has always been the case, LDA will meet the Administration and members of Congress where they are and advocate for strong policies that positively affect the lives of individuals with learning disabilities. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, LDA cannot engage in partisan political activity. In fact, LDA members represent a… Read More »

LDA Responds to Houston Chronicle Investigation

In response to the article, Denied: How Texas Keeps Tens of Thousands of Children out of Special Education (Houston Chronicle, Sept. 11, 2016), the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) is expressing concerns about the harmful implications of placing a cap of 8.5 percent on the number of students identified as needing special education in Texas… Read More »

LDA Legislative News – October 2016

Congress Delays Action on Final Spending Bills In what has become an annual ritual, Congress left Washington in early October with the country operating under a continuing resolution (CR).  The CR, a stopgap measure that funds the government until Congress completes work on the 12 appropriations (spending) bills, will expire on December 9.  The CR also included final funding for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill, leaving 11 appropriations bills awaiting action.  The decision for Congress when it returns for the post-election lame duck session is whether to extend the CR or to finalize appropriations for Fiscal Year 2017… Read More »

JAN Drives Disability Inclusion in the Workplace with Free Online Accommodation Toolkit

MEDIA CONTACT: Lou Orslene @ 800-526-7234 Ext. 135 or Anne Hirsh Ext. 112 JAN’s Workplace Accommodation Toolkit offers disability-related guidance for U.S. businesses. Morgantown, WV (October 14, 2016) – The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), the leading source of free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues, has developed an online tool to help U.S. businesses successfully recruit, hire and retain applicants and employees with disabilities. The newest addition to JAN’s suite of products, the Workplace Accommodation Toolkit packages JAN’s deep knowledge into an online platform with the information businesses need to create inclusive workplaces while complying with disability-related… Read More »

Safeguarding the Rights of Our Children

by Patricia Lillie, LDA of America President Children with specific learning disabilities are served under all federal education laws. Two major laws impact their daily school lives — the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, replaced No Child Left Behind) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Each law provides certain rights and protections for students, but parents and advocates must be diligent to ensure those rights are maintained. With the recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the role of the federal government in the education system has been significantly reduced. State boards of education and local… Read More »

U.S. Department of Education Announces $2.5 Million in Grants to Operate Centers for Parents of Children with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the award of $2.5 million in grants to operate 23 Community Parent Resource Centers in 17 states and a Parent Training and Information Center to serve American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of Palau. The centers provide parents with the training and information they need to work with professionals in meeting the early intervention and special needs of children with disabilities. For a list of Department-funded parent training and information centers, visit www.parentcenterhub.org.   The… Read More »

What Does a Reader Look Like?

I asked several teachers from around the country (Dallas, TX, Denton, TX, Brooklyn, NY, and Salem, OR) to respond to the question, “What does a good reader look like?” I compiled five responses and they were extremely similar. Each wrote of using decoding, fluency, and comprehension strategies to connect with written text. A couple of them detailed specific comprehension skills (predicting, questioning, and summarizing) while others included the value of accessing background knowledge and reading in different environments (with a teacher, peer, or independently). Surprisingly absent was any discussion of students selecting their own texts, even when the teachers wrote… Read More »

Across The States

by: Patricia Useem, State Presidents’ Representative I have received updates from many affiliates across the country; much is going on in  LDA at the state level. Many affiliates and contacts, including Arizona and West Virginia, field calls and/or emails asking for help finding diagnosticians, locating tutors to provide specialized remediation, answering questions about IEP’s and other school issues to name a few. Other affiliates are planning workshops and conferences this fall. A sampling of these include: LDA-Iowa’s 45th conference is on October 23-24; LDA-New Jersey presents Navigating the Maze Conference on October 23; LDA-Washington is holding a Workshop in November focusing… Read More »

First Quarter Check/Review of Your Child’s IEP or 504 Plan

by Analisa Smith, LDA Board of Directors School is back in session and now is the perfect time to review your child’s IEP or 504 Plan for this academic year. Over the summer you may have reflected on your child’s educational progress from last year and now are ready to make sure his or her needs are well addressed in the present IEP. So, this is the perfect time to consider reviewing your child’s IEP (Individualized Educational Program) or 504 Plan. If you find that changes need to be made or other options considered, you should be prepared to schedule… Read More »

Sam Kirk Educator of the Year Award

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! The Procedures for Nominations were sent out from the National Office to state and local affiliates. Local LDA affiliates or members-at-large may submit a… Read More »

Pre- and Post-Job Offer Questions: Guidance for Employers and Human Resource Personnel

Download/Print Pre- and Post-Job Offer Questions: Guidance for Employers and Human Resource Personnel Info Sheet Introduction According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers and their human resource personnel are limited in the types of questions they can ask during the pre- and post-job offer phase of employment. Specifically, this refers to disability-related questions as well as requirements for medical examinations. The act does not allow employers to ask disability-related questions or require medical exams until after a conditional job offer is made. During the Pre-Job Offer Stage The pre-job offer stage includes both the job application and the job… Read More »

Disclosing Your Learning Disability

Download/Print Adults with Learning Disabilities – Disclosing Your Learning Disability Info Sheet What is disclosure? In a disability context, “disclosure” is the act of revealing personal information about a disability for the specific purpose of receiving accommodations in postsecondary school, job training, or the workplace. An accommodation is an adjustment to an environment which makes it possible for people with disabilities to participate equally. There is no standardized form or set of requirements regarding what people must share about their disabilities, and the choice to disclose is a personal decision that individuals with disabilities must make for themselves. They should decide to whom they choose to disclose and how much information to provide. When should you… Read More »

President’s Message

The 2017 LDA Conference in Baltimore, February 16-19 is going to feature a special event Saturday, February 18. In addition to other outstanding speakers and sessions on that day, there will be a well-chosen selection of sessions that will make up a focus strand for parents. These sessions are designed to give support to parents who are trying to gain a better understanding of their child’s learning disabilities and at the same time are struggling to figure out how to get the best possible special education services and the best education in the general education classroom for their children. Information… Read More »

Disability and Criminal Justice Reform

More than 750,000 adults behind bars report having a disability, with two-thirds experiencing a cognitive disability. A recent white paper by the non-profit group RespectAbility advocates criminal justice reform that specifically addresses the needs of people with disabilities. Stories within the report give human faces to the numbers; people featured include those with learning disabilities. The group calls for reforms that will provide pathways to success: Early interventions to keep youth with disabilities from entering the school-to-prison pipeline; Adequate accommodations throughout the criminal justice system; and A re-entry process that understands the unique challenges facing citizens returning to the community… Read More »

Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster?

As devastating rains, floods, fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes hit various areas across our nation, hundreds and sometimes thousands of people are displaced. Many are without families to help in their recovery and others are without resources to start over again. The American Red Cross suggests taking the three key steps to emergency preparedness: make a plan, have a kit and be informed. Having a fireproof and waterproof storage container for legal documents such as deeds; leases; wills; insurance policies; birth certificates; marriage certificates; copies of driver’s licenses and other ID cards for health benefits, social security, and credit cards; and… Read More »

Nominating Committee Requests Recommendations for 2017-18 Officers and Board of Directors

The work to develop a slate of officers and board of directors for presentation at the LDA 2017 Assembly of Delegates in Baltimore is underway. The nominating committee is searching for candidates with leadership and teambuilding 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 either 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 Board… Read More »

Full Steam Ahead on ESSA Implementation

by: Myrna Mandlawitz, LDA Policy Director With members of Congress out of Washington until after Labor Day, the legislative side of government has quieted somewhat. The slack has been taken up by the administrative branch, specifically the Department of Education, which is moving full steam ahead to get regulations written and approved for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The first group of proposed regulations were issued around Memorial Day, with public comments due to the Department on August 1. Proposed regulations focused on ESSA accountability, data, and consolidated state plan provisions. The Department posed five key questions, but also solicited… Read More »

School Board Elections on the Horizon

by: Shirley Hilts-Adams Most states with elected school board members will be conducting their elections in November as part of the General Election process. New board members will be seated in January and take on a special responsibility for the education of the children in the district in which they live. Members of LDA are usually well versed in education law and aware of the rules and regulations that govern the provision of special education services. As such, they are a bit ahead of many individuals who come to school governing boards without a great deal of knowledge about the… Read More »

Resource Guide on Students with ADHD and Section 504

The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, recently sent Students with ADHD and Section 504: A Resource Guide with an accompanying letter to school districts that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education. The guide, available on the Office of Civil Rights website here (PDF download), is in the public domain and can be reproduced in whole or in part. Summaries of the three laws pertaining to the education of students with disabilities are provided: Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act and, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act… Read More »