Advocacy: LDA Highlights from 2020

  • LDA STAMP (Students Teaching Advocacy through Mentoring Program)
  • Updates for Mental Health Resources
  • Online Coffee Connections for Parents
  • Milestones for ADA and IDEA

Students Teaching Advocacy

Submitted by Denise Foley

LDA New Jersey STAMP (Students Teaching Advocacy through Mentoring Program) Parent Leaders are excited to be organizing the first state chapter.  In-person events could not be held this year, but student mentors have participated in several virtual conferences and webinars.  The middle school, high school, and college students shared their experiences with learning disabilities and assistive technology with other students, parents, educators, and professionals.  Presentations by the students are always well received because of their knowledge, honesty, and humor about their challenges.

 “A Guide to Starting LDA STAMP with your State Affiliate” session will be held at the LDA National conference in February.  STAMP Parent Leaders from NJ will share their experience with starting a local chapter.

Updated Resources for Mental Health

Submitted by Rachel Krueger 

2020 was definitely a year where mental health was top on everyone’s minds. This year, LDA’s recently restructured Mental Health Committee produced new infographics and worked to update our website resources. They also hosted an online viewing with a panel discussion for the film Angst. LDA chose Angst because anxiety is an important topic, and mental health issues are not addressed as much as they should be in school settings.The movie gives a small glimpse of what kids with anxiety go through every day. Learn more: watch the recording of LDA’s Angst panel discussion

The Mental Health Committee is also proud to announce that they were chosen to present a workshop at LDA’s 58th Annual International Conference

Online Coffee Connections for Parents

Our Online Coffee Connections program kicked off this year in partnership with IEPequity. Coffee Connections brings together parents, caregivers, and educators to safely discuss the challenges and strategies for supporting children with disabilities in a world of blended education. Each session will:

  • Raise a current topic impacting many parents like us,
  • Break into three rounds of facilitated small group discussions, and
  • Conclude with a summary email outlining helpful ideas or themes that were discussed in the break-out sessions.

It is important to connect and learn from others who understand the joy, rewards, and sometimes exhausting chaos of parenting a child with disabilities. Join us to find – and be – that person who helps get us through the challenges we are all facing together.

Meetings are free for LDA Members and $10 for nonmembers. Be sure to like our Facebook page to stay updated on when registration opens for the next Coffee Connections!

Anniversaries of ADA and IDEA

2020 marked the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 45th Anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was first introduced in the 101st Congress on May 9, 1989 and signed into law on July 26, 1990 after much work and many changes. During that time, the disability community banded together. A huge coalition was pulled together by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD). LDA of America is proud to be a member of that coalition still today just as we are proud of our work as a strong partner, as well as a leader, in the disability community nationwide.

In November, we celebrated the 45th Anniversary of the IDEA by teaming up with the National Disability Rights Network to produce a video on what IDEA is and why it’s so important for students with disabilities. 

LDA has been advocating for individuals with learning disabilities since the very beginnings. We couldn’t do it without you. Thank you for being part of our community!