Learning and attention issues impact 1 in 5 people in the U.S. But despite their prevalence, many people are unaware of the barriers that undermine their success in school and in life. This fall, NCLD focused its efforts on providing parents, students, educators and lawmakers with the tools they need to take action and be effective advocates. Together, we can raise awareness and drive meaningful change in our school systems, workforce and beyond to ensure that all people are given the opportunity to thrive.

In August, we brought together 40 national experts in disability rights and personalized learning to discuss the importance of self-advocacy skills and self-determination for students with disabilities. Experts highlighted current challenges, successful classroom and school-wide models, and necessary resources to enable students to take a more active role in their learning. Soon, we’ll release recommendations on implementation for educators, parents, students and schools.

We’ve been working directly with parents and stakeholders in five key states—Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire and Tennessee—to foster communities of support and improve how lawmakers implement the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Our organizers have helped connect parents with state leaders to make sure students with learning and attention issues are considered in ESSA plans. In Georgia and Colorado, we’ve already seen changes that align with our parents’ feedback.

To celebrate Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia and ADHD Awareness Month this October, we launched our annual #BeUnderstood campaign through Understood.org, focused on making invisible learning and attention issues more visible. Celebrity influencers Simone Biles, Gavin Newsom and Diamond Dallas Page spoke directly to kids who have learning and attention issues about their own learning challenges. We lit up national landmarks purple and blue, like Niagra Falls and LAX, and more than 3,000 people used our #BeUnderstood Facebook photo filter to spread awareness of the 1 in 5.

This fall, we also created personalized parent resources to get kids First Day Ready for school, continued to gain support for the RISE Act and collected applications for scholarship awards for two graduating high school seniors. We published materials for parents to make informed decisions about school voucher programs, education savings accounts and tax incentives, and continued to assess how we can better serve young adults and educators.

If you want to learn more about how we’re supporting the 1 in 5 and how you can help, sign up for our email list, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. To make a gift in support of NCLD’s work, please click here.

Professional Advisory Board Spotlight

NCLD’s Professional Advisory Board (PAB) includes leading educators, psychologists, researchers, physicians, and advocates who help to guide programs and advise the staff.

At this year’s NCLD PAB Meeting, cognitive neuroscientist and PAB member Fumiko Hoeft of University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Dyslexia Center, UC-Stanford Precision Learning Center and brainLENS lab, presented her team’s work on two projects that focus on early identification of learning and attention issues and promoting resilience. AppRISE is a gamified universal screener app for dyslexia risk and school readiness, for children aged 4 to 6, that can help identify learning differences and make sure that students get the support they need early on. The Socio-Emotional Toolkit (SE) is a recently developed online questionnaire, which includes measures that are important in the development of socio-emotional resilience in students with learning disabilities, ages 9 to 18, such as grit, growth mindset, emotion regulation, motivation, sense of mastery and more.


Meet the NCLD Team

Carrying out the NCLD mission to improve outcomes for the 1 in 5 individuals with learning and attention issues.


Young Adult Initiatives

Help empower and advocate for young adults ages 18–26 with learning disabilities and attention issues.

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