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Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, is an official publication of the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA), disseminates the most current thinking and practice on learning disabilities.

The journal’s focus is on research to practice and how the varied disciplines serving the lifespan of individuals with learning disabilities can be more effective.

We sat down with Dr. Joe Morgan, LDMJ’s new editor, to learn more about his background, areas of interest, and goals of the journal.

Watch the interview or read the transcript below to learn more about LDMJ and Dr. Morgan!

Can you tell us about your background?

So I’m an associate professor of special education and the chair of the Department of Early Childhood, Multilingual and Special Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. My research focuses primarily on ways to access the general education curricula for diverse students with learning disabilities and emotional and behavioral disorders. And my work tends to focus particularly on academic interventions and systems in schools to provide that with actions focused on equity, and then also teacher education and ways to prepare practitioners to implement evidence based and research supported practices in their classroom environments.

How did you become involved with LDMJ?

Yeah, so it’s all serendipity as I am heavily involved in the Council for Learning Disabilities, which is an international organization focused on research and practice for the field of learning disabilities. And through that collaboration, I got the opportunity to partner with folks from LDA and from DLD in a panel to talk more about current issues related to the education of students with learning disabilities, and how we can improve the quality of life with kids with LD, and I got the great opportunity to work with several folks from LDA, learn more about your mission, etcetera, and learn about LDMJ. It was a hidden gem and a hidden treasure of a journal that I was not super familiar with. And so a doc student and I worked to write for publication a couple of years ago for LDMJ, had a great experience.

And I’m very impressed with the approach that LDMJ takes to disseminating knowledge in the field of learning disabilities, focused on research and conceptual theories, but then also practitioner and policy oriented pieces. And so I really like it, I was drawn to the idea that it’s a one stop shop to put the best information forward about how to best support the outcomes of individuals with learning disabilities. So when I was approached about serving as the interim editor, I jumped in and said, I’d be very and honored and humbled to serve alongside and think through how we can continue to get the work published in LDMJ out into the field and hands of of scholars and practitioners that are doing such awesome work around the world.

As editor, what are your goals for LDMJ?

I have a couple of goals for LDMJ, I think one of them is to to maintain the consistent excellence of publications that are happening in LDMJ, and continue to elevate LDMJ as a platform for folks to share their knowledge, thoughts, practices, research findings, etc. and to extend and enhance that good work that was already existing. And I also view some of the work as LDA and LDMJ as an awesome place to start looking at equity oriented perspectives, and how we can think more critically about ensuring that we are considering the needs of diverse learners with disabilities, diverse teachers in the field of learning disabilities, and finding opportunities for authors who are doing different types of methodologies or answering different types of questions to be able to propose those thoughts and structures within the academic journal LDMJ. So I think it is continuing that good work that we’re already doing, and then also finding ways to highlight and give voice to some new innovative thoughts within LDMJ.

My research, my passion, my teaching has always focused on equitable outcomes. For kids of color, for kids who are linguistically diverse, for kids who are neurodiverse, all kids in a classroom environment. And so I hope to find ways to encourage publications from scholars of color, answering questions related to equity as a space within LDMJ. So, I think that would be my two main goals: enhance and expand and continue what we’re already doing, and then use our our opportunity as a platform for encouraging diverse discussion about the outcomes of students with disabilities that we serve.

How can folks become involved in LDMJ?

I encourage folks to think about LDMJ as publication outcome, we are building up queues and really trying to build up an editorial board so continuing it as an avenue for the dissemination of knowledge. But then also if there are individuals who are interested in serving as reviewers or participating in the academic process, particularly advanced doctoral students or new faculty, I encourage them to reach out to me as a potential service partnership with LDMJ, because we’d like to find ways to ensure we’ve got a robust set of experts who are reviewing both the bidding pieces for us for consideration but then also serving on review boards and giving different perspectives on the review process. So anybody interested, feel free to reach out to me and I’d be more than happy to find ways to connect with you related to the work of LDMJ.

The latest issue of LDMJ is out now, and includes the following articles:

  • A Framework for Examining Reading-Related Education Research and The Curious Case of Orton-Gillingham
  • The Stability of Reading and Writing Skills for Middle-School Students With and Without Dyslexia
  • Factors that Contribute to Post-High School Success of Young Adults with Learning Disabilities
  • Expectations of Failure: A Review of International Perspectives on Teachers and Learning Disabilities.

Subscribe or contribute to LDMJ. LDA Members receive a discounted subscription rate!