National Center for Learning Disabilities

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Attend NCLD's events and help us advocate for you and your family! We're working to ensure success for all individuals with learning disabilities in school, at work, and in life.


 

Parent Leaders Go to Congress to Advocate:

June 17-18, 2013

On June 17 and 18, NCLD's team of Parent Leaders went to Washington, D.C., to advocate for action on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. These parent leaders have been trained and nurtured by NCLD to be effective agents for change.
See photos of the Parent Leaders in action ›


 

NCLD’s 36th Annual Benefit Dinner:

April 15, 2013

On April 15, 2013, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) celebrated its 36th Anniversary at the 'Our Kids Count' Benefit Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City. This year, we were delighted to honor Ford Motor Company.
View event details ›



NCLD's Third Annual "Celebrating Our Schools" Luncheon:
November 5, 2012On November 5, 2012, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) hosted its Third Annual "Celebrating Our Schools" Luncheon. Members of the NCLD community, including educators, parents, and leaders in special education, gathered to shine a spotlight on schools doing great work to support students with learning disabilities.
View event details


 

NCLD’s 35th Annual Benefit Dinner:

April 18, 2012

On April 18, 2012, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) celebrated its 35th Anniversary and hosted its Annual Benefit Dinner at a new location, the Mandarin Oriental at 80 Columbus Circle in New York City. This year, we were delighted to honor four extraordinary child advocates.
View event details ›


 

NCLD’s 2nd Annual "Celebrating Our Schools" Luncheon:

October 18, 2011

For the second year, members of the NCLD community, including educators, parents, and leaders in special education, gathered to shine a spotlight on schools doing great work to support students with learning disabilities. The Second Annual "Celebrating Our Schools" Luncheon was hosted at the 3 West Club in New York City on October 18, 2011. NCLD Executive Director, James Wendorf, and Board Chairman, Fred Poses, welcomed guests and shared updates from NCLD.
View event details ›


 

Summer Soiree Cocktail Reception:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On Tuesday, June 14th, 2011, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) hosted a Summer Soiree cocktail reception at the Thom Bar in the Sixty Thompson Hotel in New York City. Over 120 young professionals gathered for the event, including many individuals who grew up with a learning disability (LD) and other “allies” who are passionate about providing educational and professional opportunities for individuals who learn differently.
View photos of the reception ›


 

Award Ceremony for 2011 Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Scholarship Winners:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

On April 6, 2011, Eleigha Love, who describes her brain as a computer, and Jared Schmidt, a teenage sky diver, became the recipients of the $10,000 Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Scholarships given to two graduating high school seniors with documented learning disabilities (LD) who are pursuing undergraduate degrees.
View photos of the winners ›


 

NCLD's 34th Annual Benefit Dinner:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NCLD's 34th Annual Benefit Dinner was held on April 6, 2011 in New York City. This year's benefit celebrated the Power of Parents. NCLD is committed to parents, their families and their future – providing resources, parent support and advocacy for children affected by learning disabilities.
View photos of the benefit ›


 

NCLD’s Parent Leaders Team Visits Washington, D.C.:

March 28-30, 2011

NCLD spent March 28 thru March 30, 2011 in Washington, DC with our Parent Leaders Team – a group of 13 parents whom NCLD has trained and empowered to serve as advocates for NCLD and the LD cause.
Learn more about their visit to Capitol Hill ›


 

NCLD’s First Annual Celebrating Our Schools Luncheon:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NCLD’s First Annual Celebrating Our Schools Luncheon was hosted at New York City’s historic 21 Club on October 19, 2010. The event, which featured guest emcee, Anderson Cooper, from CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, honored two great New York City schools for their great work in educating students with LD. The event also celebrated NCLD’s ongoing commitment to support students with LD and schools around the country.

View the photos from the luncheon ›


 

NCLD's 33rd Annual Benefit Dinner:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

NCLD's 33rd Annual Benefit Dinner was held on April 28, 2010 at the Tribeca Rooftop in New York City. This year's benefit raised $1.8 million and will allow NCLD to continue to provide our nation's more than 15 million children, adolescents and adults with LD the opportunity to succeed in school, work and life.
View the photos from the benefit ›


NCLD's 33rd Annual Benefit Dinner


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NCLD's 33rd Annual Benefit Dinner held on April 28, 2010 at the Tribeca Rooftop in New York City.

This year's benefit raised $1.8 million and will allow NCLD to continue to provide our nation's more than 15 million children, adolescents and adults with LD the opportunity to succeed in school, work and life.

This year we were honored to present awards to two very deserving individuals —

Mr. Charles R Walgreen III, former CEO of the nation's leading drugstore chain and one of the largest, proactive employers of people with disabilities, and Mr. James Carville, a renowned American political consultant, who has been a strong advocate for others with learning disabilities. We were also privileged to have Mayor Michael Bloomberg, George Stephanopolous and Paula Zahn contribute their time and talents to the success of the evening.


Page Ive and Mackenzie Meyer received the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Scholarships and spoke eloquently about their accomplishments and the vital importance of the services that we provide.

 

A big "thanks" to all who made this benefit a success!

 

NCLD's 34th Annual Benefit Dinner

On April 6, 2011,2011benefit the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) raised $2.1 million at their 34th Annual Benefit Dinner at Three Sixty in Tribeca. Executive Director James Wendorf announced this year’s Call to Action: to help ensure that the 1 million school children with LD, currently being failed by many of our school systems, will graduate with a standard high school diploma. The uniting theme of the evening was "Celebrating the Power of Parents."

“All of us in this room who are parents of children with LD, we have a different level of connection to our children and to each other,” said Editor-in-Chief of Daily Beast/Newsweek Tina Brown, speaking on behalf of her son. “We all know everything that we’ve been through — our journey, travails and struggles… the great moments of hope and enlightenment and then suddenly the few steps back and how hard it is.”

Brown presented this year’s Parent Advocate Award to President of The New York Public Library Paul LeClerc, noting his incredible optimism, tireless work on behalf of his son, and “great pancake-making skills.” LeClerc said, “American Society is more open now than ever before and parents are more comfortable talking about LD. I’m so grateful that there are now state and city laws protecting our children and we as parents are ready to litigate.”

Philanthropist Grace Hightower De Niro presented a Parent Advocate Award to Juanita James and Dudley Williams. “As a parent of a wonderful special needs boy, I understand the long search parents go through to provide for the well-being of their children,” said Hightower De Niro. James agreed adding, “They must work so much harder to earn what we take for granted.” Board Member Mark Griffin presented a Parent Advocate Award to Mary Q. Pedersen, who spoke of her own struggle with LD and those of her daughter.

“While we are stronger than ever, our challenges are greater than ever,” said James Wendorf. “Special Ed budgets are being slashed, new teachers are arriving in our classrooms unprepared to teach our kids, and 2.5 million students with learning disabilities are trying harder than ever to keep up with their peers. One million of them will not graduate from high school unless we do something about it.”

Paula Zahn gave a passionate appearance as Benefit Emcee. Al Roker and Anne Ford presented the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Scholarships — two $10,000 college scholarships — to graduating seniors with LD, Jared Schmidt and Eleigha Love.

NCLD is the largest organization in the US fighting for parents and children with learning disabilities. For over three decades NCLD has worked from Capitol Hill to the classroom to support the 15 million Americans with LD.

Watch our video: Celebrating the Power of Parents.


NCLD's 35th Annual Benefit Dinner

Donate On April 18, 2012, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) celebrated its 35th Anniversary and hosted its Annual Benefit Dinner at a new location, the Mandarin Oriental at 80 Columbus Circle in New York City. The event was a huge success, raising over $2.4 million to support of NCLD’s critical work ensuring that all people with learning disabilities (LD) have the opportunity to succeed.

{youtubejw popup="true" divid="mypopup5" width="640" height="350" autostart="true" usefullscreen="true"}KYwmBzNWuzE{/youtubejw} {avrpopup type="lightbox" id="mypopup5"}institutional-video{/avrpopup}We were delighted that Paula Zahn returned as our Benefit Emcee and that Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City could attend to give welcome remarks. The Mary McDowell Friends School Concert Choir also helped us to kick off the evening with an inspiring performance. It was a great celebration to recognize our 2012 Anne Ford & Allegra Ford Scholars, and to honor four extraordinary child advocates.

NCLD Chairman Emerita Anne Ford announced both of our 2012 Scholars. The 2012 Anne Ford Scholar, Silvia Ortiz-Rosales, is from Oakland, CA and despite her dyslexia, has excelled in school and aspires to be a journalist. She will attend a four-year college to pursue this dream. The 2012 Allegra Ford Scholar, Joshua Piscitello, from North Haven, CT, struggled with traditional learning because of his LD, but found his strength in hands-on learning. He has found a passion in working with cars and plans to earn a certificate in auto-body technology to enhance his skills in car collision repair and custom body work.

{youtubejw popup="true" divid="mypopup3" width="640" height="350" autostart="true" usefullscreen="true"}o86Uo6rdFM8{/youtubejw} {avrpopup type="lightbox" id="mypopup3"}institutional-video{/avrpopup}NCLD Board Member and former Head of the Eagle Hill School, Mark Griffin presented the Parent Advocate Award to Dan Tishman, Chairman and CEO of Tishman Construction Corporation, and his wife, Sheryl Tishman. The Tishmans spoke eloquently spoke about supporting their sons, as well as advocating for all children who learn differently.

NCLD Professional Advisory Board member, Judy Elliott presented the Distinguished Education Achievement Award to Stevan J. Kukic, Ph.D. who spoke about the power of partnership between educators and families.

hirsch-vidJennifer Hoos Rothberg from the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust presented the Children’s Advocacy Award to Lee Hirsch, Director of the award-winning documentary, Bully, with help from David & Tina Long, whose story is featured in the film. In a moving award presentation and acceptance, Jennifer, Lee, David & Tina expressed the importance of working to build a bully-free world and highlighted the important partnership between The Bully Project and NCLD.

Support for the Annual Benefit directly helps NCLD to:

  • Empower parents - by giving them the tools and support they need to advocate effectively for their children.
  • Stand up for kids with LD - by fighting for educational opportunity, research, and civil rights to ensure that Our Kids Count!
  • Raise awareness about LD - by making sure that critical issues – like bullying, stigma, and holding schools accountable – are front and center.

NCLD is the largest organization in the US fighting for parents and children with learning disabilities. For over three decades NCLD has worked from Capitol Hill to the classroom to support the 15 million Americans with LD.

View our 2012 Benefit photo album
gallery

NCLD's First Annual Celebrating Our Schools Luncheon

Over the past decade, the Pete & Carrie Rozelle Award has been given to a school or school-related program that addressed the educational and social/emotional needs of children with learning disabilities. This annual award has allowed for expanded programmatic and staff development opportunities that focus on incorporating effective research-based practices into classroom and school-wide practice. Preference has been given to programs that serve underprivileged and under- served communities, or programs that have demonstrated unique impact for students with LD.

This year, the award has been expanded to include both a public school and private school in the New York City area, Public School 164 Caesar Rodney Elementary and The Gateway Schools, and a luncheon was held in their honor. Hosted at New York City’s historic 21 Club on October 19, 2010, the event featured guest emcee, Anderson Cooper, from CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360. The Commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell, presented the award to Principal Margaret Choy-Shan from P.S. 164, and former New York Rangers Captain, Adam Graves, presented the award to Robert Cunningham, Head of The Gateway Schools. Philip Kent Cooke, son of NCLD founder Carrie Rozelle, and NCLD Executive Director James Wendorf also made comments in the program.

This is an exciting new event for NCLD and members of the educational community to come together to celebrate the great work being done to support a high standard of education for students with LD. NCLD was honored to recognize these two great schools and remains committed to promoting their best practices to improve schools across the nation.

NCLD’s Parent Leader Team Visits Washington, D.C.

NCLD spent March 28 thru March 30, 2011, in Washington, DC, with our Parent Leader Team — a group of 13 parents whom NCLD has trained and empowered to serve as advocates for NCLD and the LD cause. Our parent advocates:

  • Learned about critical issues facing students, families, and teachers affected by LD;
  • Embraced NCLD’s policy agenda for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act ;
  • Experienced media training “boot camp” with our consultants from Policy Impact, led by the former Reagan speechwriter and CEO of Policy Impact;
  • And marched onto Capitol Hill on March 30th with NCLD’s Executive Director, James Wendorf, and the Public Policy team to educate Senate and House members and their staff about our issues.

In one day NCLD:

  • Made 19 Senate visits, including face-to-face meetings with senators from Minnesota, California, Colorado and Wisconsin, and an important meeting with Majority Leader Harry Reid’s education aide.
  • Made 13 House visits, including face-to-face meetings with two congressmen from Michigan and Pennsylvania.
  • Provided detailed leave-behind packets and developed follow-up plans for every person.

All of this is made possible by NCLD leadership and financial resources from two sources:

  • The Oak Foundation, which is the lead underwriter of our Parents as Advocates program, and
  • Individual NCLD supporters who give unrestricted gifts to NCLD through the annual Board Campaign, the annual Benefit Dinner and other events.

Award Ceremony for 2011 Anne Ford & Allegra Ford Scholarship Winners

On April 6, 2011, Eleigha Love, who describes her brain as a computer, and Jared Schmidt, a teenage sky diver, are the recipients of the $10,000 Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Scholarships given to two graduating high school seniors with documented learning disabilities (LD) who are pursuing undergraduate degrees. Anne Ford, Chairman Emerita of the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), is a well-known philanthropist and author, who has been a long-time parent advocate for children with learning disabilities, starting with her own daughter, Allegra. The scholarship was created in 2001 by the NCLD board when Ms. Ford stepped down as chairman in honor of her service. In 2008, Allegra agreed to match the existing award, creating a second scholarship.

Anne Ford and Today Show Host Al Roker presented the scholarships at this year's NCLD 34th Annual Benefit Dinner, emceed by Paula Zahn in New York City. Jared and Eleigha are two of more than 2.5 million students who are wrestling with learning disabilities. They are among the mere 64 percent of students with LD who graduate high school, and only 10 percent with LD that go on to a four-year college.

"We received over 300 applications, and let me tell you everyone of them came from students deserving a scholarship," said Anne, handing out the awards to this year’s winners. “We hear so much about the challenges and struggles of students with LD, and it is so inspiring to see that so many are able to meet and surpass those challenges."

"Our goal is to see every child with LD graduate from high school," said James Wendorf, Executive Director of NCLD. "We are still failing about 1 million children. We've seen graduation rates and classroom inclusion rise more than 15 percent over the past 10 years. But we need to continue to empower parents and teachers, reduce stigma among kids, and keep education funding on the top of the education agenda if we are going to see those numbers increase, not decrease."

One of the biggest problems with learning disabilities is diagnosing them in time, before children get frustrated with the system. "To a child with learning disabilities, school can be a very isolating place, it can be a very frustrating place and frankly overwhelming," relayed CNN's Anderson Cooper at a recent NCLD lunch. "Too many kids with LD struggle to try and keep up with their peers and suffer from low confidence and self-esteem and lose their love of learning at a young age. It's hard to rekindle that once it's gone, which is why the work of this organization is so important."

Jared Schmidt, 18, is from Hermon, Maine. Home schooled during his early elementary school years, his dyslexia and dysgraphia were first identified at the end of the fifth grade. The oldest of four boys to a single mom, she rarely got to him at homework time because she was busy with the younger kids. Jared also held down an afterschool job to help out at home, working up to 28 hours a week. With the right support, Jared excelled in school, earning As in economics and physiology, played basketball, and is part of a Wilderness Intensive Leadership Development (WILD) program in northern Maine that exposed him to other teens with other real life struggles. After college, Jared aspires to work in youth ministry or as a school counselor.

Read Jared Schmidt’s winning essay.


Eleigha Love, 16, is from Flower Mound, Texas. After she was found to have dyslexia in third grade, Eleigha made the conscious choice to excel not retreat. She won spelling bees and Latin competitions and became a mentor to others with LD. In high school she volunteered working with incarcerated youth, some of whom have undetected or untreated LD. "I learned that many of those who are incarcerated are very bright individuals who have undetected or untreated learning disabilities. They didn't learn the skills to compensate and advocate for themselves, so many turned to alcohol, drugs and crime to cope and survive. I'd specifically like to work with juvenile offenders, giving them hope that they can succeed and become productive members of society by helping them learn to read and to learn self-advocacy." She is graduating a year early from high school, and may pursue a career in criminal justice or substance abuse treatment. She will be attending the University of Central Oklahoma in the fall.

Read Eleigha Love’s winning essay.



Summer Soiree

On Tuesday, June 14th, 2011, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) hosted a Summer Soiree cocktail reception at the Thom Bar in the Sixty Thompson Hotel in New York City. Over 120 young professionals gathered for the event, including many individuals who grew up with a learning disability (LD) and other “allies” who are passionate about providing educational and professional opportunities for individuals who learn differently.

The event was chaired by NCLD Board Member, Cassia Schifter. Other members of the Host Committee included: Jesse Corradi, Carter Gray, Joanna Merrill, Allyson Smith, Natalie Soud, Julia Steers, Rachel & Robin Thebault, Doug Weeden, and Josh Wexler.

The night provided an opportunity for attendees to connect with others who have shared similar experiences because of their LD or from supporting friends and siblings with LD. Host Committee Members Cassia Schifter and Josh Wexler spoke during a short program, each sharing some of their personal experiences growing up with LD. The presentation was extremely meaningful for other young people with LD in the room and enlightening for those newer to the experience of LD. Both Schifter and Wexler agreed that despite the challenges they’ve faced because of their learning disability, there are also great strengths to be associated with it.

NCLD Executive Director James Wendorf also spoke during the short program, sharing more about NCLD’s important work to ensure that all children with LD get the tools and resources they need to succeed.

The reception garnered very positive feedback from guests in attendance, many of whom were excited to get more involved with the work of NCLD. Overall, the night was a great success, serving as a kickoff for future NCLD events and programs engaging these and other young professionals excited about the work of NCLD.

Parent Leaders Go to Congress to Advocate

On June 17 and 18, 2013, NCLD's team of Parent Leaders came to Washington, D.C., to advocate for action on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

They brought a unified message: Students with disabilities count and must be held to the same high expectations as all other students. The Parent Leaders met with elected officials and with numerous policymakers at the White House and in both branches of Congress. They called on Congress to update ESEA so that the law targets reading and math support to the students who need it, including students with learning disabilities.

They also presented the petition, signed by over 8,000 members of the community, that all students with learning disabilities deserve a quality education.

See the NCLD Parent Leader Team in action in the gallery of photos below, and read about their previous visit to Washington, D.C.

NCLD's 36th Annual Benefit Dinner

Kean-Brown-Zahn-Evans-Weaver-WendorfOn April 15, 2013, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) hosted its 36th Annual Benefit Dinner in New York City. This hugely successful event, emceed by award-winning journalist Paula Zahn, is the largest benefit event in the nation that supports individuals with learning disabilities (LD).

NCLD honored Ford Motor Company, and the extraordinary leadership of Bill Ford, with the Distinguished Leadership Award. NCLD Chairman Emerita, Anne Ford, and Honorary Benefit Chair, John S. Weinberg, presented the award for the company’s support of individuals with disabilities through its FEDA program (Ford Employees Dealing with disAbilities). NCLD also honored Quinn Bradlee, founder and CEO of FriendsofQuinn.com, with the Young Leader Award to celebrate his extraordinary outreach to young people with LD. Barbara Walters presented the award to Quinn.

Sigourney Weaver presented the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships to three very deserving high school seniors. Ross Chapman and Holly Schallert were awarded with the Anne Ford Scholarships. Kcory Woltz was awarded the Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship.

weaver-walters-poses-zahnSupport from the Annual Benefit directly helps NCLD to achieve its mission of improving the lives of all individuals with learning difficulties and disabilities. NCLD empowers parents, enables young adults to become effective self-advocates, creates policy and advocacy impact, and transforms schools nationwide.

NCLD's Third Annual “Celebrating Our Schools” Luncheon

pinkneyOn Monday, November 5, 2012, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) brought together New York City’s key supporters and thought leaders in education and learning disabilities to a “Celebrate Our Schools” luncheon. The exclusive event took place at the Yale Club in New York City and was emceed by Andrea Davis Pinkney, publishing executive and New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of many books for children and young adults.

NCLD was pleased to once again acknowledge the work of two outstanding New York City schools addressing the educational and social/emotional needs of children with learning disabilities (LD) and producing extraordinary student achievement school-wide. The High School for Excellence and Innovation and The Churchill School and Center were awarded the Pete & Carrie Rozelle Award, named in honor of NCLD’s founders. The Award includes a cash prize that will support expanded programmatic and staff development opportunities that focus on incorporating effective research-based practices into classroom and school-wide practice.

bartlettThe program also featured remarks from Dr. Marilyn Bartlett, of the landmark Bartlett v. NY Board of Law Examiners case of 1998. Now a successful lawyer and professor, Dr. Bartlett’s dyslexia made it difficult for her to pass the New York State Bar Examination without reasonable accommodations, which were initially denied her. Dr. Bartlett discussed the challenges of growing up with dyslexia and the significance of winning this critical case to gain access to the rights afforded her under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The proceeds from this fundraising event will go to support NCLD’s work with schools, educators, and parents across the country, as we work to:



  • Raise expectations in schools by delivering evidence-based tools, resources, and professional development to educators to improve student outcomes and ensure that struggling learners get the support they need.
  • Ensure the educational rights of children with LD by developing policies and engaging advocates on Capitol Hill to strengthen educational rights and opportunities and ensure that children with learning disabilities are included in important education bills, like the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • Empower parents to be effective advocates for their children by connecting parents with the information, resources, and research, they need to support their children’s success in school, work, and life.

NCLD’s Second Annual “Celebrating Our Schools” Luncheon

For the second year, members of the NCLD community, including educators, parents, and leaders in special education, gathered to shine a spotlight on schools doing great work to support students with learning disabilities. The Second Annual "Celebrating Our Schools" Luncheon was hosted at the 3 West Club in New York City on October 18, 2011. NCLD Executive Director, James Wendorf, and Board Chairman, Fred Poses, welcomed guests and shared updates from NCLD.

 

This year, the Pete & Carrie Rozelle Award was presented to two deserving schools: Public School 380, The John Wayne Elementary School (Brooklyn, NY) and the Stephen Gaynor School (New York, NY). Senior Advisor to the NFL Commissioner, Joe Browne, joined in the festivities and introduced the Pete & Carrie Rozelle Award and the two award presenters. The awards were presented by alumnae of the two schools, Jillian Fortuna and Cassidy Kahn, respectively. Both presenters spoke eloquently about the impact that their school has had on their lives and could not have given higher praise to the committed staff and faculty at each school. Principal Diane Vitolo accepted the award on behalf of P.S. 380 and Dr. Scott Gaynor accepted the award on behalf of the Stephen Gaynor School.

 

In addition to acknowledging these great schools, NCLD was proud to host Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author of My Dyslexia, Philip Schultz, who gave an inspiring and amusing reading from his book. Schultz, who did not learn of his dyslexia until he was in his 50s, shared his experience of struggling to learn to read as a child, like so many others with learning disabilities.

 

It was a rewarding day for all involved and NCLD is once again honored to congratulate P.S. 380 and the Stephen Gaynor School! Check out our highlights video on the Luncheon.