by Kristina Scott, State Presidents' Representative
by Kristina Scott, State Presidents’ Representative

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 and behavioral interventions. They have been advertising their workshops and parent scholarships for these workshops on library displays across the state of Illinois.

New Jersey is hosting their annual conference, with keynote speaker LeDerick Horne, on October 4th. LeDerick was educated in the New Jersey school system and is now a nationally recognized motivational speaker and advocate for people with disabilities. In addition to this keynote speaker there is a menu of 18 workshops that attendees can choose to attend. These workshops include such topics as: executive functioning, dyslexia, reading comprehension, creativity, auditory processing, transitions, and college testing accommodations.

The St. Louis affiliate of LDA has a family event, “Unlock the Magic of Learning,” taking place October 3rd. This event features live entertainment, games, dinner, and both silent and live auctions.

LDA of Indiana is having their annual conference on November 6th. Their keynote speaker is Ron Hume. He will speak about the many faces of learning and attention disorders. After the keynote, breakout sessions will be centered on topics such as: universal design, reading, resilience, visual strategies, study skills, writing, and auditory processing.

California LDA is partnering with the Council for Exceptional Children and local state universities to host a conference this October 3rd. The conference will feature Nancy Cushen White, the keynote speaker, who will present on critical thinking skills in reading comprehension. California is hoping to boost their LDA membership numbers and is offering this conference free to all individuals who become members of LDA. California LDA has also just held an IEP clinic which gave an overview of the IEP process and was then followed by a panel question and answer session. The Pomona Valley affiliate of California LDA has continued to host their monthly young adult workshops, transitioning students from the K-12 educational setting into the real world of advanced studies and employment.

In addition to a fall full of conferences, a number of states have joined together to work towards the Healthy Children’s Project mission. There are 14 active states (some notable states are: North Carolina, Georgia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas and Alabama) that have written to their local state representatives about the TSCA reform. At our upcoming national annual conference there will be a workshop that covers the basics of the Healthy Children’s Project initiatives and why it’s an important political and environmental action and how your state chapter can help. Please consider attending this workshop.

Another action that many states have participated in, in the past, and will hopefully continue to promote is October as LD month. Please look for the October month calendar which will give suggestions for activities and events to help promote awareness, services, and research-based accommodation and modifications associated with learning disabilities. There will also be a number of webinars available on the national site during this month to help move forward this mission. I look forward to featuring all of the events your state conducted and participated in during the month of October in the next “Across the States” article. Keep up the good work you are all doing!

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