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Nancie Payne, LDA President
Nancie Payne, LDA President

In 1991, Dawna Markova, Ph.D., wrote a book entitled The Art of the Possible: A Compassionate Approach to Understanding the Way People Think, Learn and Communicate.   In the introduction Dr. Markova speaks about her student teaching experience in Harlem and ends with her dream:

“Children have always been teachers to me, and the ones I was drawn to work with were the “odd ones,” those that everyone else had given up on. They were a motley assortment of “unteachables,” classified as unsocialized, those with learning disabilities, dyslexia, or autism, emotionally disturbed, hyperactive — the wounded and broken ones. I was supposed to figure out what was wrong with them, put the diagnosis in black ink on a white form, and keep them out of everyone’s way. …My dream is that one day this book will be passed into some of their hands — whether they are in prison now in Florida, driving a freight train through the cornfields of Iowa, or performing appendectomies in an emergency room in Nairobi. I delight in imagining them reading these words and standing a little straighter as they discover how deep a fingerprint they have left in the wet clay of my mind.”

What does this passage have to do with the LDA of America you ask? To me, this quote has extraordinary meaning as I envision each of us having a comparable experience sometime in our life that has sounded the call of volunteerism and service to individuals with learning disabilities. We have all experienced variances when we learn, some painful and some joyful and with each occurrence we learn more about what works and what does not work. We learn to rely on a set of behaviors that guide learning, remembering, and understanding in ways that form a framework of our unique set of aptitudes and methods. It is through those experiences that we share with others in the hopes that they may not struggle as much or might find better methods to learning, training and working. It is through our collective experiences that we find service and volunteerism calling.

In order to keep this rhythm on track and to truly be lifelong learners we need to ensure we are upgrading our knowledge, skills, and abilities. What better way to do this than by attending the 53rd Annual Learning Disabilities Association of America International Conference in Orlando. By now you should have received the pre-conference book which is packed with keynote presentations, workshops, panels, and exhibitors. Click here to Register TODAY!

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