LDA Remembers Martha Bernard

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Martha Bernard, 96, President of ACLD (now LDA) in 1973-74. Martha passed the morning of January 31, 2020 at home in New York City after a brief decline. Her family members were with her. Martha was a founding member of the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities (ACLD, now LDA) and remained active in LDA. She was the current Secretary for LDA of New York and chaired the national Support Services Committee until 2018. Up until a few years ago, she attended national conferences–the last was Baltimore in 2010–when she could… Read More »

Baby Foods with Arsenic and Lead & Safer Choices

New report finds 95 percent baby food tested contains toxic chemicals that harm kid’s brains * The chemicals found in baby food – arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury – are neurotoxins that can permanently harm the developing brain, lower IQ, and affect behavior. Here are some tips to protect your family: 1) SNACKS: Puffs and other snacks made with rice flour are high in arsenic. Choose rice-free packaged snacks. Better yet, try these healthy snacks with fewer chemicals: apples, applesauce (unsweetened), bananas, barley with diced vegetables, beans, cheese, grapes (cut lengthwise), hard-boiled eggs, peaches, and yogurt. 2) CEREAL: Infant rice… Read More »

LDA’s Core Principles

Over the last two years, LDA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committee has spearheaded work on what will be a series of papers addressing our Core Principles for the Identification and Support of Individuals with Learning Disabilities. Recently, the Board approved the third core principle document, Best Practices in the Use of Cognitive Assessment in Learning Disability Identification. This paper was written with input from members of LDA’s Professional Advisory Board and experts in the field of learning disabilities. IDEA defines specific learning disabilities as disorders in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using… Read More »

President’s Message – January 2020

On behalf of the members of the Board of Directors, it is my pleasure to personally invite you all to the 57th Annual International Conference of the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA), Building Connections: Making Equity Accessible.  Join us in sunny Orlando, Florida, February 17-20, to soak in information from three excellent keynote sessions and over 150 general sessions focused on topics of interest for individuals with learning disabilities, their families, and professionals that work in the field of learning disabilities and related disorders.  Our exhibitors and networking sessions will round out the conference leaving you armed with information… Read More »

Candidates for 2020 LDA Officers and Board Members

The LDA Nominating Committee is pleased to introduce the candidates who will be placed in nomination at the Assembly of Delegates during the Annual Meeting, February 19, 2020, in Orlando, Florida. The Committee worked diligently to select candidates who bring a variety of skills and experience to their respective positions and to the Board of Directors of the Learning Disabilities Association of America. Officers: Monica McHale-Small, President Monica McHale-Small is currently an Adjunct, Associate Professor of School Psychology at Temple University and project manager for Pennsylvania’s Dyslexia Screening and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot. She previously served as Director of Program… Read More »

In Memorium: Sharon Bloechle

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Sharon Bloechle, a long-time advocate and leader in LDA of America. Sharon grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan, moved to Nebraska, met and married her husband Bob, and together they became parents of three children.  As a parent of a child with learning disabilities, she reached out to the Learning Disabilities Association for information. She joined LDA of Nebraska and soon became LDA State President. In the late 1980s as President of LDA of Nebraska, she attended the national conference and joined with other state presidents who made up the State Affiliates branch of national LDA.  Read More…

Get to Know LDA’s New Executive Director, Cindy Cipoletti!

LDA did an extensive search for a new Executive Director and Cindy Cipoletti was chosen among a very experienced field of nonprofit professionals. Beth McGaw, President of LDA, sat down with Cindy to learn more about her and gain her insights on the future of LDA…..Read More…

President’s Message

In the President’s Message, Beth McGaw shares the Conference theme, the reasons you should attend, and looks ahead to keynote announcements!….Watch the Video…

Meet David Allsopp, one of our 2020 Conference Program Chairs

LDA is delighted to have David Allsopp, a professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning’s Exceptional Student Education program at the University of South Florida, and Marci Ridpath, a Disability Consultant/teacher at the NCAA as our Conference Program Co-Chairs. In this video, we interview David and he shares some of the excellent work they have accomplished, including securing great speakers and developing strands that ensure conference attendees can attend more of the sessions that are relevant to their needs….Watch the Video…

LDA Supports Actions to Address Bullying

By Myrna Mandlawitz, Director of Public Policy LDA has long recognized that children and youth with learning and other disabilities are at high risk for being bullied.  While there have only been 10 studies in the United States examining the connection between bullying and disability, all have reached the same conclusion:  children with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be the victims of bullying than nondisabled children.  For students with learning disabilities, bullying can heighten students’ anxiety and concerns about school, affecting academic performance and increasing school phobia, resulting in higher absenteeism and possibly higher rates of… Read More »

How to Navigate Moving to Another School District

Michelle Davis, a member of the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee and a Professional Advocate, shares her expertise in helping parents who have moved or are about to move to another district or state. If this impacts your children or your students, you will want to check out this interview….Watch the Video…

Helping Non-English Speaking Parents in the IEP Process: House Bill 424: A Vision Became a Reality

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Moving Beyond Math Phobia: A Strategy for Developing Conceptual Knowledge

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Go Back to School with Safer School Supplies

Proceed with caution when you buy back-to-school supplies.  Some school supplies have harmful chemicals in them that can impact children’s learning and brain development. Here are some tips for finding safer school supplies: Look for PVC-Free, BPA-Free, Phthalate-Free and Fragrance-Free Supplies When possible, avoid purchasing anything with phthalates and PVC by avoiding any products with the word “vinyl” on them or Recycling Code 3 when purchasing school supplies, shoes, backpacks, etc. For example, buy canvas or cloth pencil holders instead of the plastic ones. Avoid colored paper clips because they may be coated with PVC.  Stick with the plain metal… Read More »

Nominating Committee Requests Recommendations for 2020-21 Officers and Board of Directors

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President’s Message

LDA’s President, Beth McGaw, joins Mark Halpert to provide an update on what’s happening with LDA recently. Watch the Video…

Is Equal Education a Reality? Eligibility by State: Share your Experience with LDA

By Stephanie Fedro-Byrom, Operations Manager “… states may determine their own processes for identifying and evaluating children. As a result, a child eligible for services in one state may be ineligible in another.”  (“Special Education: Varied State Criteria May Contribute to Differences in Percentages of Children Served, Government Accountability Office, GAO-19-348, April 2019) A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found a wide variance in special education numbers across the states. The report found that states establish their own eligibility criteria for determining the presence of a Specific Learning Disability (SLD). This finding is not a surprise to LDA. Allowing… Read More »

Summer Regression aka The Summer Slide

Kristina Scott & Mark Halpert Our current school calendar today is based on society’s needs in the 1800s. Schooling did not occur during the summer months in rural areas because children had agricultural responsibilities to tend to. While children in urban schools often did not attend school (though they could have) during the summer months because the conditions (the city heat and lack of air conditioning) were not looked upon favorably by wealthy and middle-class families. Our current school calendar was never created with student achievement as its mission—and these summer months without schooling can often lead to an academic… Read More »

LDA Goes to Washington

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Nominating Committee Requests Recommendations for 2020-21 Officers and Board of Directors

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Is Equal Education a Reality? Income Inequality in Education

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Protecting Developing Brains

By Maureen Swanson, Healthy Children Project Director As the federal government repeatedly fails to protect children from toxic chemicals and pollutants, states are stepping into the breach. This year, state efforts to ban neurotoxic flame retardant chemicals and the brain-altering pesticide “chlorpyrifos” are providing LDA with opportunities to help make products, food and water safer for children’s growing minds and bodies. State action on flame retardants: Certain flame retardant chemicals can harm children’s brain development, contributing to learning and attention disorders and IQ deficits.  These chemicals are also carcinogenic, resulting in higher cancer rates among firefighters in particular. Multiple studies… Read More »

Across the States

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LDA Continues Support for the RISE Act!

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Eye to Eye at the University of Denver

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