Project TENDR Releases Consensus Statement about Toxic Chemicals and Brain Development For the first time, leading scientists, medical experts, and health advocates have reached consensus that scientific evidence clearly shows toxic chemicals are contributing to neurodevelopmental disorders. On July 1 st , a consensus statement was published in EHPonline which outlines the risks and actions that can be taken. This agreement among leading scientists and health experts would not have been possible ten years ago, but the research is now abundant and clearly shows that toxic chemicals are a serious threat to brain development. TENDR is led by Co-Directors Maureen… Read More »
Education Department Proposes ESSA Regulations The U.S. Department of Education has issued draft regulations to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and now the public gets to comment. The regulations address school accountability, data reporting, and consolidated State plans. In May the regulatory process began with a panel of negotiators examining draft regulations related to assessment and supplement-not supplant rules. The panel was only able to agree on draft regulations on assessment, but the Department has not included those in the current package. “Adequate yearly progress” and other features of the federal accountability system included in No Child Left… Read More »
Proposed Disproportionality Regulations Problematic The U.S. Department of Education wants to identify and help states and local districts address occurrences of significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity in the way they identify and place students with disabilities and impose disciplinary actions. LDA has responded to the Department’s request for comments on proposed regulations to the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) to ensure equity in the application of the law. The proposed regulations are targeted at helping states determine when significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity occurs in identifying children as children with disabilities in certain disability categories and… Read More »
LDA has responded to the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed regulations on significant disproportionality. The Department proposed a complicated uniform mathematical calculation and expanded use of “early intervening” funds for pre-K and students with disabilities. After much consideration, LDA opposed the adoption of a uniform methodology, noting that any “formula” for calculating significant disproportionality of racial and ethnic groups in special education must be flexible and account for the broader variables that may contribute to the overrepresentation.
ESSA Negotiated Rulemaking Success Unclear The top priority for the chairmen of the House and Senate education committees for the remainder of the year is the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Enacting the comprehensive bipartisan bill in December 2015 was a major accomplishment after several previous attempts had failed over the last eight years. Now the focus is on ensuring States implement the law as Congress intended, and the U.S. Department of Education clarifies that intent without going beyond the statutory requirements. The negotiated rulemaking process (described in detail in the March issue of LDA Legislative News)… Read More »
One of the main reasons individuals join LDA is its strong advocacy for the health, safety, and education of children. When LDA learned of the dire situation with the water supply in Flint, Michigan, and the serious effects of high lead levels on children, a workgroup of LDA members sprang into action to support families in that community. Members of the LDA Public Policy Committee and the Professional Advisory Board (PAB) joined together to compose a letter (click here to see the letter) that has been sent to national news media including the New York Times, Washington Post, and the… Read More »
It is with a very heavy heart that LDA announces the passing of our President and fearless leader, Nancie Payne. Nancie, who would have finished up her two-year term as President during our Orlando Conference next month, died December 27th after a courageous six-year battle with cancer. Over the years, Nancie served at various levels in LDA, including being a member of the Professional Advisory Board, as well as serving on several committees such as Adult Topics (Chair), Conference Program (Chair twice), Finance (Chair), and Support Services. She also served on the Board of the LDA of Washington state affiliate. She embodied… Read More »
ESEA Moves Toward Final Action After numerous attempts over several years, Congress appears ready to finalize the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESEA, first enacted in 1965 to provide compensatory education for minority and low-income children, has grown to include educator preparation, education for English language learners, and other aspects of a well-rounded K-12 education. Congressional leaders hope to complete work on the latest version of this important law by the end of the calendar year. A conference committee of members of the House and Senate education committees met in late November to reach agreement on… Read More »
The 40th anniversary of the passage of Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), will be on November 29th. On that date in 1975, President Gerald Ford signed the significant piece of legislation into law. Many of LDA’s pioneer members were instrumental in lobbying for the bill in the years it took for introduction, amendments, acceptance and finally passage by Congress. “The four purposes of the law articulated a compelling national mission to improve access to education for children with disabilities. Changes implicit in the law included efforts to… Read More »
Stress!!! The Missing Piece of the Puzzle, What to Know and What to DO! Presented by: Jerry Schultz, Ph.D. In this interactive webinar, Clinical Neuropsychologist and Harvard Medical School faculty member Dr. Jerome (Jerry) Schultz will explore the impact of stress on learning and behavior in students with learning disabilities and associated ADHD. Tune in to learn why the brains of kids with LD and ADHD are at risk and what we can do about it. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and get some very practical and sensible advice from a seasoned professional (and former special education… Read More »
LDA is proud to announce our Keynote and Featured Speakers for the 53rd Annual International LDA Conference being held in Orlando, Florida.
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Learning disabilities (LD), sometimes referred to as “specific learning disorders,” are life-long, but adults who have LD can experience great success in all aspects of life when using their strengths together with the strategies, accommodations and technology that are most appropriate and effective for their individual needs. Read more…
LDA’s nominating committee is ready to receive your nominations for the 2016-17 officers and board of directors. Positions to be filled at the Assembly of Delegates in Orlando on February 16, 2016, include: President (two year term), First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer (all one year terms), and four positions as members of the Board of Directors (all three year terms). All of us have an important role in nominating and electing LDA’s Board of Directors, which is the governing body of LDA that enacts policies, adopts plans, monitors programs and services, and sets priorities of the… Read More »
Advocates Mark 25th Anniversary of ADA On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into the law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The effort to end institutional discrimination against individuals with disabilities was a true bipartisan effort, with Republican Senator Lowell Weicker as the Senate sponsor and Democratic Representative Tony Coehlo sponsoring the House version. Now on the 25th anniversary, the ADA continues to provide protections for individuals with disabilities in hiring, public accommodations, healthcare, education and other arenas and has served as a model for other countries as they move to enact similar laws. While… Read More »
Deal Needed to Save Education Funding Congress has begun its deliberations on spending – “appropriations,” in congressional parlance – for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 which begins on October 1, 2015. The first step in the long process involves consideration of funding bills by the 12 appropriations subcommittees, one of which is Labor-Health and Human Services-Education. That bill contains most all the programs LDA follows. The House Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee led off in mid-June with passage on a party-line vote of a draconian bill that would significantly reduce spending for most education programs. Overall funding for discretionary programs in the Department… Read More »
by Linda R. Hecker When I talk with educators across the country, they often lament that students don’t read much anymore, especially in the face of ubiquitous social and multimedia distractions. Even students with intact decoding and fluency complain that reading is just too hard, not worth the effort. Why is reading such a challenge for so many? One often overlooked factor is the role that executive function plays when we engage with text. Broadly put, executive function (EF) describes the cognitive processes that regulate self-directed behavior toward a goal. Anytime we plan, prioritize and organize; maintain effort and focus over… Read More »
It is with deep sadness that we share with you that Dr. Janet Lerner passed away on May 26, 2015. Janet was a long-time supporter of Learning Disability Association’s since the late 1960’s, speaking at nearly every annual conference; and chairing the 1991 Chicago Program. She had served on the Professional Advisory Board for many years and was the recipient of our highest recognition, the LDA Award in 1978. Janet also served as editor or co-editor of LDA’s professional journal Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal until 2012. Janet’s textbook, Learning Disabilities and Related Disabilities: Strategies for Success, currently in its 13th edition,… Read More »
LDA is pleased to announce the formation of our newest local affiliate – the Student Learning Disabilities Association of The Citadel (SLDAC), an affiliate of LDA of South Carolina. Under the direction of their professor Tammy Graham, who is also a member of the LDA of South Carolina board, they wanted to promote awareness and support for the education of people with learning disabilities, their families, and those who teach them. It is our hope that this local affiliate becomes a model for colleges and universities across the country. For the full news release on the SLDAC chapter, please visit The Citadel’s website by clicking here.
Are you worried about what you can do to keep your child actively learning this summer? Not to mention keeping boredom away – every parent dreads hearing, “But, I’m bored! There’s nothing to do!” Join Jen Rawley and Ginny Simank for a timely webinar that will have you ahead of the curve when it comes to summer fun and learning.
Bipartisan ESEA Bill Developed in Senate Committee On April 16 by a unanimous vote, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, currently known as No Child Left Behind). The product of many months of negotiation between Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), the Every Child Achieves Act maintains the core of the ESEA while giving States greater flexibility in implementation. While both Alexander and Murray acknowledge the bill does not comport completely with what either would have wanted, they… Read More »
Over the last dozen years, more than 30 states have passed third grade reading laws. These laws set standards on how well students must be performing in reading to move on to fourth grade. In most states, these laws apply to all students, including students with learning and attention issues who are struggling with reading. Recognizing this, LDA and NCLD came together to create an infographic and a set of best practices to help parents and policymakers make informed decisions about third grade reading laws and better understand the issue of grade retention. Take a look at the Infographic on… Read More »
HEALTH, FIREFIGHTER, CONSUMER AND SCIENCE GROUPS SEEK BAN ON HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS WITH TOXIC CHEMICAL FLAME RETARDANTS
LDA, with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumers Union, International Association of Firefighters, and other national groups, filed a petition asking the Consumer Products Safety Commission to ban four categories of products if they contain any of a certain class of flame retardant chemicals. These chemicals are harmful to children’s brain development; LDA calls on the CPSC to protect our families from toxic flame retardants! Earthjustice has published the release to our site. It is now live. The release includes a link to the petition in case you need an electronic version to share. http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2015/health-firefighter-consumer-and-science-groups-seek-ban-on-household-products-with-toxic-chemical-flame
President’s Report to the Board February 17, 2015 2014-15 has been a busy year — lots of listening, learning and action. Here are a few of the highlights. Our Team: We have a knowledgeable and dedicated 21-member board of directors, an outstanding 7-member executive committee, eighteen remarkable committees with over 100 volunteers, and an extraordinary 10-member Professional Advisory Board. That does not take into account the work of the 41 state and local affiliates who engage countless volunteers. I know the phrase “boots on the ground” is used a lot these days. Borrowing from that theme, I would like to… Read More »
LDA has spent significant time discussing the major issues surfacing in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, currently known as No Child Left Behind). The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman, Lamar Alexander (R-TN), issued a draft bill which is expected to be acted on in the Committee in late February. Senator Alexander solicited public comments which were due on Monday, February 2. Read LDA’s comments here.
Education Debate Takes Center Stage The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, known currently as No Child Left Behind, NCLB) is eight years overdue. Each chamber of Congress has introduced multiple bills over the last seven years in an attempt to find common ground, but without success. The leadership in the new Congress has indicated both in words and action that they intend to pass a bill this year. To get the process started, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the new chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a draft bill in… Read More »