November 23rd, 2015

NCLD’s Impact Update – November/December 2015

Empowering Parents

  • Understood celebrated one year of serving parents – reaching over 8,000,000 users to date, with over 1,000,000 users in October alone.
  • 24-Hr Access to Experts! We kicked off a month of events for Learning Disabilities, ADHD and Dyslexia Awareness Month with 24 hours of free and unlimited access to advice from Understood’s team of experts. View selected chats from the event.
  • Also in October, we live streamed ADHD Understood: Science, Skillbuilding and Success—an event featuring Understood experts and moderated by award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkey. Watch the entire conversation.

Looking Ahead

  • We’re eager to launch new content focused on individual strengths of every child with learning and attention issues. Check back soon!
  • Understood is partnering with NCLD to launch grassroots programs with parent advocates in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Advocating for Equal Rights and Opportunities

  • In July, NCLD brought together partners, parents, and students for an advocacy-focused Dyslexia Hill Day in Washington, DC. Read more about the event.
  • It’s ok to say dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia! After NCLD’s advocacy and request for clarification around using these terms, the U.S. Department of Education issued a letter stating that the terms can indeed be included on a child’s individualized education program (IEP). Read an official statement from NCLD’s Executive Director.
  • In August of 2015, NCLD convened experts and advisors to explore best practices for including students with disabilities in personalized learning, made possible by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Following the convening, NCLD published a report containing 10 policy and practice recommendations for implementing personalized learning as it relates to students with disabilities.

Looking Ahead

  • As the Senate and House work together to finalize their reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), NCLD will advocate for strengthening the law to ensure that students with learning and attention issues are appropriately included.
  • We will continue to share our report on Personalized Learning, engage with the education community, and develop resources specifically for educators, school and district leaders, and parents on how personalized learning systems can most effectively meet the needs of students with disabilities.

Transforming Our Public Schools for All Studentsrsz_krh_8324

  • NCLD’s Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation–funded Schools That Work partnership launched its second year of work with Barnstable Public Schools in Barnstable, MA and began the first year of work in Mashpee, MA.
  • We collaborated with the Cape Cod Collaborative to determine a plan for increasing access to quality MTSS professional development and support across Cape Cod and Islands.
  • We honored an extraordinary superintendent with NCLD’s Bill Ellis Award–Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Duval County School, FL.

Looking Ahead

  • In 2016, we’ll complete the final year of the Schools That Work project in Barnstable, setting them on a solid foundation for fulfilling the next three years of their implementation plan. In addition we’ll finalize the work in Mashpee with the focus on fully funding a 2nd year in their district.

Ensuring Successful Futures for Young PeopleStudent Voices Snip 2

  • The results from the Oak Foundation-funded Student Voices research about what drives success for young adults with learning and attention issues was published on View the full results and infographic now.
  • Quinn Bradlee, founder of Friends of Quinn conducted new interviews with Tom Brokaw and Senator Michael Bennett, who shared advice about the importance of good support systems. Watch the interviews.

Looking Ahead

  • We will conduct workshops at professional conferences about NCLD’s Student Voices project, including the Learning Disabilities Association of America in February 2016.
  • The winners of the Anne Ford & Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship Award competition will be acknowledged at NCLD’s 39th Annual Benefit Dinner on March 9, 2015.

Difference Maker
“I was tired of hating math. I was tired of thinking I was inadequate. Everyone wanted to help me succeed—my mom, my teachers and my friends. The only person left was myself. I had to see my dyscalculia for what it was—something that made me different, but not dumb or less than. Math was hard for me but it wasn’t impossible. There was nothing wrong with getting help for my challenges.”
—Savannah Treviño-Casias, 2015 Anne Ford Scholarship winner, college student and advocate
Read more personal stories about learning and attention issues here.
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