Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve you as the president for the Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD)! As I start this year, I want to acknowledge the leadership of Linda Mason, who is our past-President, and to thank our prior past-Presidents for their help and support. I also want to introduce you to our current Board members and to thank them for their service: President-Elect, Jeanne Wanzek; Vice President, Kristen Sayeski; Secretary, Michael Faggella-Luby; Treasurer, Peggy Weiss; Membership Committee, Devin Kearns; Publication Committee, Bill Therrien; Public Policy Committee, David Bateman; Research Committee, Bryan Cook; Professional Development, Standards, and Ethics Committee, Jessica Wery; and Cultural andLinguistic Diversity Committee, Diane Rodriguez.
We encourage you be involved in DLD and to reach out to colleagues to join DLD. Starting in 1983, DLD has been an organization that supports and advocates for individuals with learning disabilities (LD), their teachers, and their family members. Our international membership includes individuals with LD, parents, teachers, psychologists, administrators, researchers, and others. Some of the support we provide includes:
- Promoting the education and general welfare of persons with LD by supporting our members, including educators and teacher educators in providing evidence-based teaching practices.
- Fostering research and disseminating findings that promote the education and life quality of individuals with LD, including the varied disabilities subsumed in the term "LD" including dyslexia, dyscalcula, and dysgraphia.
- Providing a forum for discussion of issues facing the field of LD.
- Encouraging interaction and collaboration among the many disciplinary groups whose research and service efforts affect persons with LD.
- At international, national, state, and local levels, advocating for educational policy, and educating policy makers about the evidence base about what works to maximize academic and social outcomes and the importance of intensive interventions and special education.
For example, our DLD board is committed to working with you to discern how critical issues like Response to Intervention, the Common Core State Standards, revisions in state high-stakes assessment structures, and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) impact education and life-long issues for students with LD.
Membership in DLD offers a variety of resources that include access to the journal, Learning Disabilities Research. Our website offers Practice. Current Practice Alerts which provide teacher-friendly summaries of the evidence behind common practices. HotSheets and Teaching Tutorials give guides on how to use evidence-based practices, and our website, TeachingLD.org, offers more materials and information that members can share with colleagues. There are also a series of videos showcasing teachers and researchers from our field. Finally, being an active member of DLD means joining thousands of others who work daily for the benefit of students with LD. So we welcome you to volunteer with us and to reach out through the email of our Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reach any of the committee members whose work best aligns with your interests. We also welcome you sharing about DLD through your social media!
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need additional information, or if you have ideas or thoughts you’d like to share. My e-mail address is Pres@TeachingLD.org.
Warm wishes for summer and the new school year,
Stephanie Al Otaiba