LDA Today - March/April 2015

We are pleased to report the events of the 52nd Annual International Conference on Learning Disabilities held in Chicago, Illinois, in February. In addition to a recap of the conference, other conference news is highlighted in the President’s Message, the Affiliate Support/Membership article, and the 2015 award winners. Of course, we couldn’t hold an event of this magnitude without donors and sponsors who we thank for their support. Now that the 2015 conference has ended, it’s time to plan for the 2016 conference in Orlando, Florida. This issue provides information you will need to submit your proposals in the "Call for Proposals."

We encourage our members, local and state affiliates to participate in or initiate celebrations to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, to be celebrated July 26, 2015. You will note it was a lengthy process marked by bipartisan support.

LDA is in the forefront of providing information that affects students with LD and ADHD. This issue is no exception with information on IEPs and school transfers that will be helpful if you're planning a move or your child is changing schools. Included also is a "Summary of Performance" for students graduating from high school, and an article on transitioning to work from an academic setting.

An update on the progress of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), formerly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is provided and you won’t want to miss the report from the Healthy Children Project with news on “Mind the Store” and “Safer Chemicals Healthy Families” initiatives.

Shirley Hilts-Adams
Editor, LDA Today

President’s Message

I have been a member of LDA of America since the late 1980’s.  My very first exposure to the organization was the opportunity to attend an Annual International LDA Conference.  That conference literally changed my life.  I was able to interact with top researchers in the field of learning disabilities as well as teachers, parents, families, adults with learning disabilities, and those who serve them.  That first conference made a profound, fundamental imprint on my life, both personally and professionally.  For the past 52 years, LDA of America has been convening one of the most dynamic opportunities to which I… Read More »

Affiliate Support/Membership

Chicago was the place to be in February!  LDA of America hosted its annual International Conference for an excited and enthusiastic membership.  The conference was filled with many nationally known speakers who provided the latest information and research on learning disabilities. Members and attendees were provided a variety of activities in which to participate.   The conference began with a Members’ Reception on Tuesday evening, February 17. It was a time for members to be welcomed to the conference by national president Nancie Payne along with members of the LDA Board of Directors and Professional Advisory Board.  The reception afforded… Read More »

Transitioning to Work: A Critical Process for Students with Learning Disabilities

by LDA Adult Topics Committee   Students with learning disabilities who are seeking employment should request assistance for transitioning to work whether they are leaving high school, an adult education program, or college.  While each situation is unique, there are elements involved in transitioning to work that apply to all students with learning disabilities. Transitioning from any type of educational program to work is a process.  Students must begin this process early and be able to transfer knowledge of their learning disabilities into a world of employment. They should consider the potential impact of their learning disabilities on job performance,… Read More »

ESEA Process Slower but Still on Track

The process of reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, currently known as No Child Left Behind) has been a long time coming.  Each federal education law must be reexamined through the reauthorization process, generally every five years, to determine if the law is working, if changes need to be made, or if it is no longer relevant or necessary. The process of reauthorizing the ESEA began in 2007, but without success.  Finally, the process appears to have gained momentum, although the end is not yet in sight.  Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor… Read More »

LDA 2015 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 in Chicago at the 2015 52nd International Conference continued this practice. The following individuals were the recipients of this year’s awards. LDA President’s Award This award is given annually to the individual who has shown outstanding service to LDA during the year. The recipient this year is Bob Broudo, a person who deeply cares about people and… Read More »

Recap of the 2015 LDA Conference

The 52nd Annual LDA International Conference was held in Chicago, February 18-21, 2015, at the Hilton Chicago.  To paraphrase, the weather outside was frightful, but the conference inside was delightful. The member reception held Tuesday evening in the Waldorf Room at the hotel kicked off a week of exciting events.  LDA of Illinois provided beautiful table decorations consisting of hot air balloons anchored by a basket of markers.  Attendees were encouraged to select a balloon, write their state name on it, and encourage others to sign it as the evening progressed.  There are many advantages to membership with the conference… Read More »

25th Anniversary Approaching for the Americans with Disabilities Act

The 25th Anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) will be celebrated in July.  Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the bill in the Senate in May of 1988. It was passed by the Senate in September 1989 and the House of Representatives in May 1990. The House and Senate agreed to the joint conference committee version on July 12 and 13, 1990, respectively. The bill was then signed into law by President George H. W. Bush, July 26, 1990. The ADA has benefited many individuals since its historic passage and is celebrated annually by… Read More »

“Market Pressure” Campaigns: Asking Retailers to “Mind the Store” Results in Safer Products

A growing coalition of LDA affiliates is playing an important role in national market pressure campaigns – which urge retailers to adopt chemical policies that identify and ban the use of chemicals of high concern from products they sell. Increasingly, some major retailers are taking responsibility for helping to get harmful chemicals out of consumer products, by requiring their suppliers to disclose use of toxic chemicals, and replace those chemicals with safer alternatives. The national “Safer Chemicals Healthy Families” coalition, of which LDA is a leading member, has been engaged for months in ongoing discussions with furniture makers and retailers… Read More »

Giving Thanks

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 in order that we are able to continue to provide this premier conference each year.  We are pleased to report the following generous donors who helped fund our 52nd Annual Conference in Chicago in February.  We are ever grateful for their support of our annual conference and of LDA. 

Summary of Performance for Students Exiting High School

As students exit high school due to graduation with a regular diploma or due to exceeding the age eligibility for FAPE under State law, a local education agency …shall provide the child with a summary of the child’s academic achievement and functional performance, which shall include recommendations on how to assist the child in meeting the child’s postsecondary goals… according to §Sec. 300.305(e)(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004. The Summary of Performance (SOP) must be completed during the final year of a student’s high school education. The SOP should contain Background Information, Student’s Postsecondary Goals, Summary… Read More »

IEPs and School Transfers

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 »