The International LDA Conference recently held in Anaheim in February 2014 was exciting to be a part of. It was filled with excellent and informative cutting edge speakers and exhibits. One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation of Affiliate Accolades by various state affiliates throughout the USA. It was a time for them to showcase some very interesting and informative projects or successful endeavors undertaken in their respective states. They had the opportunity to present their projects to participants at the conference banquet on Friday, February 21.
South Carolina submitted two Affiliate Accolades. The first was entitled Growing an Executive Board of Directors. For about three years, LDASC had a working Board of only a few people. They decided to make a letter appeal to all current members inquiring if anyone was interested in serving. Overall, the Board doubled in size through this appeal. With this increased support, the state is conducting its first event in almost six years. Its second accolade submitted was entitled Increasing Outreach Through Media Applications. This was a renewed outreach effort utilizing social media including Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Podomatic, Storify, and YouTube. They also created a LinkedIn account to promote LDASC professionally. This allowed LDASC to be promoted through the use of technology and stay in the public eye. For information on either of these outstanding projects, contact Analisa Smith (email@example.com.)
Georgia submitted a very interesting and innovative accolade entitled Know Your Child. LDAGA committed themselves to assisting parents to exploring the rich gifts their child possesses, and helping parents learn how these gifts can actually be the clue to strategies that allow their child to overcome areas of difficulty. They submitted and received a grant from the Learning Disabilities Foundation to devise a training for parents. Materials were interactive and easily used. A Facilitator’s Manual completed the program making it transportable. For information on this groundbreaking project, contact Montie Stone (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Illinois submitted two Affiliate Accolades with the first entitled A Study of What Large School Districts in Illinois are Doing in Response to Intervention (RTI). For the last five years, LDAIL has surveyed parents and educators about what is happening in RTI in Illinois. LDAIL also contacted the largest school districts in Illinois to answer questions about RTI and their use of it. The information was then gathered into a grid which will be publicized in its newsletter and utilized with legislators. The second accolade from LDA/IL was entitled Getting the Word Out: Spreading the Word about LDAIL’ Five Fall Workshops – A Ten Point Plus Publicity Plan. This was a ten point strategy which included the following: standard mailing, workshop flyers at other workshops, flyers to all teachers in the conference area, a booth at the State Directors of Special Education Conference, press releases, a radio talk show, Facebook, Linked In and Twitter, an ad in Chicago Parent, and PayPal was utilized to make registration easy. Attendance at all workshops significantly increased. For information regarding these successful projects, contact Bev Johns (email@example.com.)
Also at the national conference, some outstanding volunteers from across the nation were recognized with a special display in the exhibit hall. Those outstanding volunteers were Kim Miller from Iowa, Kristina Smith from Pennsylvania, Penny Richards and Margaret “Meg” Carroll from Illinois, Joan Teach from Georgia, Deborah Gladden from South Carolina, Mina Orleans from New Jersey, Patti White from Arkansas, and Sam Digiacomo from Washington. All of these outstanding volunteers have volunteered countless hours in their efforts to create a better world for individuals with learning disabilities. LDA of America salutes each one and gives thanks for their incredible efforts.
Seeing these outstanding projects and the work of these volunteers is always a highlight of the annual conference. We encourage state affiliates to begin thinking now about participating in these projects at the next national conference to be held in Chicago in February 2015. See you in the Windy City next year! Ã¢—Â