LDA Today - September/October 2015

President Nancie Payne discusses the role of volunteers, the core of the organization at the local, state and national level, and the motivation for volunteers to become involved in LDA. Public Policy Director Myrna Mandlawitz shares information on the Congressional Continuing Resolution that avoided a government shutdown at the end of September but may have just delayed the problem.

Also in this issue:

  • A reminder to check out the calendar for October, LD Month, carrying an activity suggestion or app for each day of the month;
  • Calls for nominations for the annual Harrison Sylvester Award and the Sam Kirk Educator of the Year Award;
  • Young children adjusting to the school year;
  • Information on an Online Center for Adult Learners, OCTAE (Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education) to direct adult learners to free, high-quality resources related to education, job and life skills;
  • The State Presidents’ Representative message and activities of state affiliates in Across the States;
  • Reminders of the upcoming Make a Difference Day, October 24th, and the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Public Law 94-142, the Education for all Handicapped Children Act which improved access to education for children with disabilities;
  • Information on developing a Family Plan and survival tips for possible natural disasters; and,
  • A tribute to Edmund W. Rothschild, a long-time member of the Board of Managers of the Learning Disabilities Foundation of America (formerly ACLD Foundation).
  • Our next issue, November/December, will feature information on the upcoming 53rd Annual LDA International Conference to be held in Orlando, Fla., February 15 – 18, 2016; information on activities planned for members and state affiliates; and the report of the Nominating Committee for the upcoming organizational year. Also welcome will be articles on Semester check of IEP or 504 Plans; Holiday gift-giving including a membership to LDA; coping with the holidays, for adults as well as children; and personal stories on living with a learning disability.

    Shirley Hilts-Adams
    Editor, LDA Today

President’s Message

LDA is a “grass-roots” organization that was designed with two critical balance points — state and local affiliates and the national organization. The Assembly of Delegates composed of delegates from the Local and State affiliates elect the LDA Board of Directors. But then what happens? Each member of your Board of Directors is required to be actively involved in a committee at the national level. Our organization has 18 committees, all staffed by volunteers. A number of the committees work specifically to assist state and local affiliates through support, membership, marketing and communications. Of course, in real time, each of… Read More »

Shutdown Averted For Now…and Other Fiscal Woes

Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown at the 11th hour on September 30, the last day of Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. Unfortunately, their action has probably just kicked the problem down the road.   The shutdown was averted through passage of a Continuing Resolution (CR), a stopgap measure that keeps the government operating until December 11. During the CR period, programs are funded at FY 2015 levels with an additional across the board cut of 0.02 percent. The CR was prompted by Congress’s continued failure to pass sensible appropriations bills that provide adequate funding for critical federal programs. Reasons for… Read More »

Important Upcoming Events

Saturday, October 24, Make a Difference Day. Find or develop an activity in your community that can make a difference in someone’s life. Visit http://makeadifferenceday.com.

Sunday, November 29, 40th Anniversary of… Read More »

October is Learning Disabilities Month

The Learning Disabilities Association of America is working hard this month to shine the spotlight on learning disabilities. It’s important to focus less on the disabilities aspect and focus more on the incredible abilities so many of these individuals possess as well as to emphasize the phenomenal achievements and important strides so many of these individuals have made… Read More »

Across the States

School is back in session! I hope all had a chance to renew and recharge themselves, their boards, and their members during the summer months. Fall is always such a busy time of the year with lots to do—getting to know new students, work on policy initiatives, and planning/hosting state wide conferences. One needs to be recharged to take all of these actions on! Here are some of the events our state chapters are gearing up for. In Illinois, Connie Parr presented on “Bullying and Its Impact on Students with Disabilities.” LDA Illinois has also held recent workshops on transitioning… Read More »

Edmund W. Rothschild 4/27/29 – 4/29/15

The Learning Disabilities Foundation of America and LDA mourn the passing of longtime supporter Edmund W. Rothschild. Ed was a long-time member of the Board of Managers of the Learning Disabilities Foundation of America (formerly ACLD Foundation). He served with distinction for many years as Treasurer and is credited with developing the Foundation’s successful investment policy as well as working closely with BNY Mellon, the Foundation Trustee. In addition, he was considered the conscience of the Foundation; able to sharpen the focus of a discussion towards doing the right thing for both the organization as well as for individuals with… Read More »

Adjusting to the School Year for Early Childhood

Analisa Smith, Early Childhood Committee The school year is back in full swing. Adapting to new school year changes can be hard for parents, children, and teachers alike. Now that school has been in session for a bit, it is useful to take a step back and look at how children in the early childhood grades and preschool are performing. The tips below can help you to gain perspective and you can help this school year to be one of the best ones yet.  Tips for Parents Be positive. Even though children are adjusting or have adjusted to the routine, there… Read More »

Minority Serving Institutions

Department of Education First in the World Award to Research Print-Related DisabilitiesBy: Christopher M. Lee, LDA Adult Topics Committee Member Once the only choice for minority students in a time of limited access to majority institutions, Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) — specifically, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Asian American, Native American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) — were defined in various pieces of legislation to serve those underserved populations. They continue to play important roles in providing access and support even in this era of broadened access. MSIs… Read More »

Online Center for Adult Learners

OCTAE (Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education) has launched an online center to direct adult learners to free, high-quality resources related to education, job and life skills. The LINCS Learner Center complements OCTAE’s priority goal to make on-demand learning available for teachers and students. The Learner Center is a gateway to resources from many federal agencies and organizations. Resources accessed through the site can help adult learners improve their reading, writing, math, science, and English skills; build job skills; acquire an understanding of American government and history to obtain citizenship; and find a nearby adult education, computer training, or postsecondary… Read More »

Being Prepared for Natural Disasters

The latest fires in northern California have consumed nearly 2,000 homes and displaced thousands of residents, many evacuating with just the clothes on their backs. Trying to reconstruct their lives and deal with the seemingly endless paperwork is proving to be a daunting task for many. The Red Cross offers many helpful ideas in how to prepare for an emergency or a natural disaster. Copying and storage of documents in waterproof and fireproof containers is essential. But, the planning pays off should you be faced with a fire, tornado, or heavy rainfall leading to floods. A visit to website http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/plan,… Read More »

Now Accepting Nominations for the Harry Sylvester Award

This award honors and recognizes an adult with learning disabilities who has shown a strong dedication and commitment to advancing the issues of adults with learning disabilities. It is the wish of LDA to thank, in Harry Sylvester’s name, an adult with learning disabilities for his/her commitment to those living with learning disabilities. The Harrison Sylvester Award was created in 2010 to honor Harry Sylvester, a gentle but strong voice in the field of learning disabilities. Harry discovered in his mid 50’s, after struggling for most of life, that he was an adult with learning disabilities. With the knowledge of his… Read More »