LDA News

April Webinar: Military Special Needs Education Crisis

Military families with special needs children have unique challenges they face every day. This webinar presented by four military spouses will focus on the experience military families have with special needs education, the problems and difficulties facing families, and potential legislative solutions that Congress can provide to fixing those problems. A replay of the webinar will be provided for all registrants via email. About our Presenters: Michelle Norman, 2019 AFI Navy Spouse of the Year, is a Navy spouse of 25 years and mother of a 16-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy and multiple other disabilities. After years of successfully advocating… Read More »

Make Your Voice Heard: CARES Act Threatens Educational Rights

Thank you for making your voice heard last week! Over 230 of you reached out to your Senators/Representatives through our Action Alert! Thanks to your action, LDA has learned that the proposal to allow Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to have an absolute waiver authority over IDEA has been taken off the table! Despite this progress, the educational rights of our children are still in jeopardy. Last week, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate ‒ the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The Act includes a provision directing Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to report back to Congress within… Read More »

Make Your Voice Heard: LD Protections are Being Targeted!

As the U.S. Congress deliberates on a stimulus package to address the COVID-19 epidemic, the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) has learned that Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has offered a proposal that would give the U.S. Secretary of Education authority to approve state waiver requests for any statutory or regulatory requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for one year, along with the permission of extensions. This provision harms the rights and protections of children with learning disabilities including Child Find, a free appropriate public education (FAPE), and Individualized Education Program (IEP, all procedural safeguards, re-evaluations, related… Read More »

March Webinar: Covering Your Bases: Common Advocacy Myths and Mistakes

Many times advocates and parents need to “go with their gut,” but what happens when instinct runs contrary to sound legal strategy? This session will cover common mistakes in advocating for services in schools, as well as common myths in special education advocacy. A replay of the webinar will be provided for all registrants via email. About our Presenter: Caitlin McAndrews is a shareholder with McAndrews, Mehalick, Connolly, Hulse and Ryan, handling special education and estate planning matters in Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. She previously worked as a special educator in the Philadelphia area. Since that time… Read More »

Remote Learning And College Students with Learning Disabilities

In response to  the coronavirus pandemic, nearly every college and university in the country has announced it will move to remote learning .  LDA is aware that this change raises many questions  for students with learning disabilities. How will a student access course material? How will accommodations be made? LDA interviewed LDA Board Member, Manju Banerjee, PhD, Vice President of Educational Research and Innovation at Landmark College in Vermont and an expert on college students with disabilities, on how this move to remote learning may affect college students with learning disabilities. LDA:  Dr. Banerjee, if a student has already been… Read More »

In Wake of the Coronavirus, LDA Offers Advice for Students with Learning Disabilities as Schools Move to Online Instruction or Extended Closings

With schools moving to online instruction or closing for an extended period of time, there is a concern for students with disabilities, including learning disabilities like dyslexia, who receive services through an IEP or Section 504 Plan.

The Learning Disabilities Association of America has made its experts available to answer questions that concerned parents and educators have about how remote learning will affect a student with a learning disability. Read More »

Learning Disabilities Association of America Supports the READ Act

The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) applauds U.S. Representatives Chrissie Houlahan (D-PA) and Bruce Westerman (R-AR) on introducing the READ Act (Reading Early and Addressing Dyslexia Act). The bipartisan READ Act, modeled after a Pennsylvania program, creates a federal grant program for states to establish three-year early literacy and dyslexia pilots using evidence-based screening, evidence-based instruction, and intervention for students found to be at risk for early reading deficiencies and dyslexia. Read More »

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 »

February Webinar: My learning disabilities made me a better scientist: Let’s help neuro-diverse students excel!

Presented by: Collin Diedrich, Ph.D. Our presenter, Dr. Collin Diedrich has multiple learning disabilities and will share how the help he received at all levels of his academic journey allowed him to become the scientist he is today. Dr. Diedrich will share his story about overcoming the negatives associated with learning disabilities. He will also discuss how his learning disabilities helped him become a better scientist! He will discuss the importance of teaching empathy, self-advocacy, how to build on failures, how to overcome imposter syndrome, and how to be allies (jet packs!) to students that think differently. As long as… Read More »

January Webinar: Why Will No One Play With Me? Helping Children of All Ages Make Friends and Thrive.

Presented by: Caroline Maguire, M.Ed., ACCG, PCC “Why Will No One Play with Me?” – a question parents fear having to answer, yet one that has become more prevalent with each generation. Whether you are the parent of a child with learning differences, social integration issues, one that is a victim of bullying or even the parent of a child navigating the seemingly simple process of growing up, there has never been a greater need for a go-to resource that provides parents with the tools to help their children navigate the challenges of social interactions. In this webinar, Caroline introduces audiences… 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…

Learning Disabilities Association Announces New Executive Director

The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) is pleased to announce Cynthia Cipoletti, JD, has been named Executive Director of the nonprofit devoted to supporting, educating, and advocating for individuals affected by learning disabilities.

Cipoletti, an attorney, served as Executive Director of the Lighthouse Foundation, a nonprofit based in Butler, PA an outreach organization meeting the needs of impoverished individuals and families in northern Allegheny and Butler County for the past five years and Assistant Director for two years. Read More »

Myths Create Misunderstanding about Learning Disabilities

Poor diet, too much television, and kids “just being lazy” are not causes of learning disabilities, although one-third of the respondents in a recent study thought these were accurate.

During Learning Disabilities Awareness Month in October, the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) is increasing its campaign to address some of the myths and misunderstandings about learning disabilities including dyslexia.Read More »

Groups sue EPA for refusing to ban brain-damaging pesticide

Today, health and labor organizations sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for refusing to ban a widely used agricultural pesticide linked to damaging children’s brains and farmworker poisonings.

“EPA has repeatedly found chlorpyrifos unsafe, especially to children, yet time and time again it refuses to protect kids,” said Patti Goldman, the Earthjustice managing attorney handling the case. “But Earthjustice and our clients won’t stand for this. The science and the law call for a chlorpyrifos ban. We are hopeful the courts will do the same for the sake of children and farmworkers.” Read More »

Sen. Udall, Senate Leaders Introduce Bill to Ban Chlorpyrifos Nationwide

MEDIA CONTACT: Maureen Swanson, Healthy Children Project Director, Learning Disabilities Association of America, 724.813.9684 Sen. Udall, Senate Leaders Introduce Bill to Ban Chlorpyrifos Nationwide Legislation endorsed by Learning Disabilities Association of America, one of the plaintiffs fighting Chlorpyrifos in the courts Washington, DC (March 28, 2019) – A day after President Trump’s EPA once again argued for delaying its own ban of chlorpyrifos in court, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced the Protect Children, Families and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act, legislation that would ban the dangerous chemical. The Learning Disabilities Association of America calls on Congress to act swiftly to pass… Read More »

LDA Applauds Bipartisan Bills to fully fund IDEA

For decades a LDA legislative priority has been the full funding of IDEA. LDA wants to recognize and applaud Senators Van Hollen (D-MD) and Roberts (R-KS) and Representative Huffman (D-CA), Senate and House bill sponsors, as well as their co-sponsors, who have just introduced bipartisan bills to fully fund the IDEA (S. 866 and H.R. 1878). Call or email your Senators and your Representative. Tell them you are a constituent and a member of the Learning Disabilities Association of America, and that you support these bills! If your senators and representative have not yet signed on as co-sponsors, ask them… Read More »

LDA Condemns Fraud in College Admissions Testing Accommodations

Pittsburgh, PA, March 12, 2019. Today the FBI announced an investigation, code-named Operation Varsity Blues, that uncovered a network of wealthy parents who paid thousands of dollars to a college-admissions private counselor to boost their children’s chances of gaining entrance into elite colleges. The U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling stating, “There can be no separate college admission for wealthy, and I will add there will not be a separate criminal justice system either.” The investigation also revealed that the counselor facilitated the cheating by instructing parents “to seek extended time for their children on college entrance exams, which included having the… Read More »

LDA’s Healthy Children Project Director: Pa. children deserve better than Andrew Wheeler in the EPA

LDA’s Healthy Children Project Director, Maureen Swanson, was recently featured in The Philadelphia Enquirer Editorial / Opinion pieces on recent happenings with the Environmental Protection Agency and why our children deserve better. Read the article here…

Conference Preview: An Interview with Lynn Miner Rosen

Our own Mark Halpert interviews Lynn Miner Rosen about her session at the upcoming 56th Annual International Learning Disabilities Association of America Conference – February 18-21, 2019.
Watch the video…

LDA Responds to Federal Commission on School Safety Report

The Learning Disabilities Association of America has the following response to the release of the report of the Federal Commission on School Safety: The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) is pleased that today’s report highlights best practices such as the use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and a continuum of mental health services both in school and community settings. However, these practices are not new and, in fact, are already being implemented in schools around the country. LDA supports continuing and increasing these policies and practices. Of deeper concern to LDA is the Commission’s recommendation to rescind the… Read More »

Leading Organizations in the Field Challenge Myths about Learning Disabilities including Dyslexia

Myths about learning disabilities rob many of their potential to succeed and contribute in school and in the workplace, according to a white paper released during Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia Month in October by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA). IDA and LDA recognize that in the absence of accurate and early identification and intervention, individuals with learning disabilities are at grave risk of never accessing their full academic, creative, and career potential. The untapped potential of individuals with learning disabilities is not simply a matter of personal tragedy. Under-serving this significant population… Read More »

Tell EPA: All Families Deserve Clean Air

In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed to roll back vehicle emission standards intended to decrease air pollution and greenhouse gases. The clean car standards have been in place since 2012 and are working to protect public health. The EPA’s much weaker “SAFE Vehicle” standards will result in worsening air pollution. While we typically connect smog and ozone to asthma and lung disease, studies show that air pollution harms children’s developing brains, putting them at higher risk for learning and behavior challenges. Rolling back standards that protect children’s health is the wrong direction. We have until October 26th to… Read More »

LDA’s President featured in IMSE Journal

LDA’s own President, Beth McGaw was recently featured in the IMSE Journal. Take a look at this insightful article about our newest President’s journey to empower educators, parents and students to better support students with learning and attention issues – a journey which began long ago while working in another role: mom.

Read more.

LDA Statement on School Safety

The Learning Disabilities Association of America recently developed comments to submit to the Federal Commission on School Safety on how to improve safety in our schools and specifically how to address the needs of students with learning disabilities in a safe school environment.

Review our comments here.