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

We, as state affiliates, have had a very successful October engaging in multiple activities associated with the “31 Days of LD” calendar. Many state organization used their social media sites, webpages, and newsletter mailing to make sure this calendar was widely distributed to local schools, parent organizations, members, teachers, and families. Great work spreading awareness!

Many states have been busy holding conferences during the month of October and early November. In early fall LDA of Arkansas hosted a transition fair for students with disabilities. This event featured college and university disability services providing resources to parents to help them navigate the transition from high school to college.

LDA of Iowa hosted its annual conference on October 25-26th. They had Larry Orrach, M. Ed., speak on “The Common Core—College and Career Readiness Standards,” and Edwin Ellis, Ph. D., speak on “Visualizing Disciplinary Thinking in Differentiated Classrooms.” There were many breakout sessions after these guest speakers on: sensory approaches, writing strategies, cross-curricular teaching, and assessments.

LDA of Minnesota hosted its annual symposium on November 14th. They focused on executive functioning skills and had Dr. Chris Bedford and Dr. Gary Johnson as their keynote speakers. This event was one of many Minnesota has put on recently. In October they had a Books and Brews Benefit event. They also have events on assistive technology and assessment trainings.

LDA of Washington was busy getting ready for their early November conference on assistive technology for learning disabilities. The event featured a panel presentation and hands-on labs for participants to interact with. LDA of Wisconsin also hosted an assistive technology event in November. Their event was titled, “Power-Up: 21st Century Technology!”

LDA of Utah hosted an event the first weekend of November. They focused on what parents need to know about section 504 plans! LDA of South Carolina has begun planning an event along the same lines, with their advocacy seminar coming this summer.

LDA of Maine is planning its annual meeting for early December, and is focusing on special education law. Law is an exciting topic with 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), happening on November 29th. It’s hoped that our state organizations took this opportunity to partner with their State Department of Education to plan an event or ceremony to acknowledge this historic day!

In other affiliate news, the National Conference in Orlando is now just three months away! State presidents: we have several activities planned and are excited to have all your energy in one room as we discuss many of the accomplishments that have happened across the states this past year. Some events include: advocacy, recruitment and active involvement, assistive technologies and marketing, and a meeting with the national president and board members. Please look for an email going out to all state presidents with the schedule of events in this coming month!

Also, state organizations will be receiving an email asking them to brag about their activities within the last year. I know from receiving updates that many states have had a VERY active year. Please withhold your modesty, and brag about all you have done as an organization by filling out an Affiliate Accolade Award. Many of us, our boards, and our members give much of our time to learning disability awareness, support, research, and services. Is there someone you know that goes above and beyond with their devotion to your state organization? Please take the chance to let them know how much you, and we, as a national organization, appreciate their individual efforts by nominating this special individual for the “Volunteer of the Year” award.

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