The mission of NCLD is to improve the lives of the 1 in 5 individuals nationwide with learning and attention issues. Below are highlights of our accomplishments and plans for Spring 2015.
- Understood.org won the 2015 Webby for Best Family/Parenting Site Known as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, the Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. This prestigious recognition is a testament to the resources and support that Understood offers to parents of children with learning and attention issues.
- Over 3 million people have visited Understood.org since its launch in October 2014. Visit u.org/signup and sign up today.
- A new “Back to School” Ad Council campaign will help reach more families and communities at a time when parents are especially in need of resources.
- Over 150 new articles, infographics, videos and more will soon be added to Understood.org.
- A group of dedicated parents, known as “Understood Ambassadors,” will launch a new program to share their experiences and spread the word about Understood. Visit u.org/parentslikeme to learn more about our parent community.
Advocating for Equal Rights and Opportunities
- Through NCLD’s Action Alert Center, a record-breaking 3,000+ parents voiced their support, within a 72 hour period, for addressing the needs of students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities in the federal Every Child Achieves Act of 2015.
- NCLD hosted a briefing in the U.S. Senate on Raising the Bar for Students with Disabilities: How Accountability and High Expectations Result in Positive Outcomes. Though the panelists each provided a unique perspective, they had a unified message – parents, teachers and students must be supported to ensure students with disabilities can reach their full potential.
- In collaboration with the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA), NCLD developed recommendations for states’ third grade reading laws and presented at LDA’s annual conference in Chicago. To learn more, visit ncld.org/action-center/what-we-ve-done.
- As Congress takes up the Higher Education Act (HEA) this summer, it is crucial that legislators hear parent and student voices. NCLD will collaborate with other organizations to conduct a field-wide “Advocacy Hill Day” in July.
- In August, NCLD will convene thought leaders, practitioners and advocates to discuss how students with disabilities can most effectively benefit from personalized learning systems in K-12 education. The convening is made possible by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Transforming Our Public Schools for All Students
- NCLD’s Schools That Work partnership with Barnstable Public Schools in Massachusetts continues to flourish with the development of an infrastructure to implement a Multi-tier System of Supports (MTSS), a process of providing instruction and support to promote the academic and behavioral success of all children.
- In March, the Schools That Work partnership was presented to LD experts, educators and funders at The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation Learning Disabilities Grantee Convening in Buffalo, NY.
- NCLD is helping to empower the Cape Cod Collaborative to become a source of technical assistance on MTSS for all districts on the Cape and Islands.
- A second district in Massachusetts will be selected for the Schools That Work partnership, and Barnstable Public Schools will decide its priorities for their second year of support from NCLD.
- NCLD is developing a new strategic direction for rtinetwork.org to accommodate the needs of our growing online community.
Ensuring Successful Futures for Young People
- NCLD awarded the 2015 Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships to Savannah Treviño-Casias (Phoenix, AZ) and Cody Trine (Boonville, IN). At NCLD’s 38th Annual Benefit Dinner on April 22, both Savannah and Cody gave moving speeches about their respective challenges and achievements, demonstrating the strength of the 1 in 5 individuals with learning and attention issues. (See photo below.)
- Former NCLD Board Member Laura Schifter and Professional Advisory Board Member Thomas Hehir presented their new book, How Did You Get Here? Students With Disabilities and Their Journeys to Harvard, at a community book signing event hosted at the Understood office in Tribeca, New York City. The book celebrates and explores the journeys of twice exceptional students. (See above right photo of Thomas and Laura, with her daughter Eleanor.)
- NCLD’s Student Voices project has produced extraordinary research findings, which will be shared widely throughout the community of parents and professionals interested in young adult transition.
“I’ve tried my best to be a role model for my peers who have learning disabilities or any other types of struggles and to show them how to overcome the urge to give up and lose faith in themselves. Once you win the battle inside your head and heart, the rest will surely follow.”
– Cody Trine, 2015 Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship Recipient
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