It has been two months since the 51st International Learning Disabilities Association of America Conference in Anaheim, California. As I write this message, I am awed by the untiring commitment and dedication of the members of our organization. There are those who talk about their volunteer forces and then there are those who just roll up their sleeves and get to work for the good of the organization and its members. You are the latter.
Sometimes it is important to remind ourselves about what we stand for Ã¢â‚¬“ the countless hours of volunteerism that spread across the nation like a network of closely woven threads, rich in diversity and providing support across the lifespan for all those with learning disabilities.
That diversity is articulated clearly in LDA’s vision and mission.
LDA Visualizes a World in Which:
- All individuals with learning disabilities are empowered to thrive and participate fully in society
- The incidence of learning disabilities is reduced
- Learning disabilities are universally understood and effectively addressed
- Create opportunities for success for all individuals affected by learning disabilities
- Reduce the incidence of learning disabilities in future generations
LDA accomplishes its goals and objectives through a variety of efforts.
- Offered is a nationwide array of Specialized Services designed to support and promote the success of individuals with learning disabilities across all aspects of life.
- Our Board of Directors and National Committees are composed of individuals with learning disabilities, their parents and concerned professionals who understand and work diligently in response to the needs and circumstances of those with learning disabilities.
- Our Professional Advisory Board, comprised of leading experts in the field of learning disabilities, offers guidance and counsel in professional and technical areas.
- Our organization has an outstanding National Team/Staff located in Pittsburgh, PA and a Washington-based Director of Public Policy.
The Learning Disabilities Association of America consistently engages in Partnerships and Collaborative Activities that support our organization’s work on behalf of individuals with learning disabilities. Position Papers establish clear positions on critical issues nationwide that affect those with learning disabilities. The Learning Disabilities Foundation of America, a tax-exempt public charity established in 1979, is dedicated to providing funds for research and education and the promotion of public awareness of both children and adults with learning disabilities.
How does the Learning Disability Association of America accomplish its Mission?
- Promoting Reduction and Prevention of learning disabilities through research
- Encouraging ongoing Research and Best Practices in recognition, assessment and intervention strategies throughout the lifespan
- Advocating for access to Early Identification as well as throughout the lifespan
- Supporting Best Practice Interventions
- Protecting the Rights of all with learning disabilities through legislative advocacy as well as individual advocacy
- Providing services including Parent Supports, Information and Referral Networks, Ask the Experts (found on our website), the LDA publication, Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, School Program Development, and Adult Needs and Transitions
As you can see, this is truly your organization Ã¢â‚¬“ one that wholeheartedly believes that every child and adult with learning disabilities must be provided the opportunities to succeed. None of this can occur without your support. Your LDA of America has taken a posture of responsiveness to the needs and situations. We are alert to the fact that if we do not respond we miss the opportunities that support children and adults with learning disabilities and all those who support them.
Over the last two months, your organization has been hard at work. Here are some things you can do to support that work…
- Let us know when issues and needs arise so we can be responsive.
- Within the next month talk to five people about your LDA experiences and ask them if they are a member of LDA Ã¢â‚¬“ and if not, ask them to join.
- Identify what you would like to give to LDA in your time, talents, and resources Ã¢â‚¬“ connect with your local/state affiliate or the National office to volunteer. We are actively looking for people who want to continue to create a network of closely woven threads, diverse in nature and highly effective in implementing the vision and mission of the organization.
- LDA of America is your organization Ã¢â‚¬“ tell us what you want.
What do I want at the end of the day? I want a strong, vibrant organization ready to respond to the current and future needs and situations of children and adults with learning disabilities and those who support them. Thank you for your confidence in me. Always feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with me or others in your organization.