POLICY & ADVOCACY

September 24th, 2020

Local Advocacy, Big Impact: How to Speak Up at your Local Events

Man raising hand at community meeting

All politics are local. This election cycle, make sure the candidates running for office in your area know what you care about. You have the ability to use your voice to make the change you want to see in your community. 

Each year, there are federal, state, and local elections, and every four years there is a presidential election. This year, all of those will be happening at once! Candidates will be campaigning in your area and presidential candidates might hold a town hall near you. Now is the time to make a difference! Attend a town hall or election event to tell the candidates for office at all levels what you want to see in your education system. Many people running for office might hold virtual meetings that you can attend and you can have your voice heard right from your couch! 

Here are six questions you can ask to find out where candidates stand on important issues impacting students with learning and attention issues:

  1. Across the country, 1 in 5 children struggle with learning and attention issues, which are brain-based disorders affecting reading, writing, math, attention, and more. Knowing the early signs of and risk factors for learning disabilities and attention issues can help schools and parents address the learning needs of students with disabilities early on and lessen the risk that a child falls behind or struggles in school. What will you do to expand research into early screening, identification of and interventions for reading disabilities (like dyslexia) and math disabilities?

    NCLD’s LD Checklist contains helpful information about the early signs of learning and attention issues.

  2. More than 7 million students in our public schools have been identified with a disability, and many more struggle to learn without any formal support. Our public schools have an obligation to serve every one of these children, no matter how great their challenges are. How will you invest in our schools during and after the pandemic and ensure that public funding remains in public schools?

    Learn more about advocating for equitable funding during the pandemic and why NCLD opposes private school vouchers.

  3. Literacy has become a national crisis in recent years. Black and Hispanic students enter high school with average literacy skills three years behind those of white and Asian students, and students from low-income families enter high school with average literacy skills five years behind those of high-income students. What will you do to ensure that students have access to high quality literacy instruction?

    See NCLD’s State of LD report for the latest data and information about supporting academic success for students with LD.

  4. The 1 in 5 children with learning and attention issues —like mine— spend most of their time in general education classrooms. I know firsthand that my child’s educators have worked very hard to serve students well during the pandemic, and their work is far from over. They are teaching in virtual and hybrid environments and are tasked with making up for lost instructional time, often without the resources or professional development they need. How will you ensure educators are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and resources to serve all students well in the coming years?

    Learn more about evidence-based practices and teacher training through NCLD’s report Forward Together.

  5. Children of color are more likely to be identified as having a disability, more likely to be placed in separate educational settings due to their disability label, and more harshly disciplined than white students or students without disabilities. What will you do to help schools improve their school’s climate and eliminate racial bias from special education and discipline policies?

    Learn more about the overrepresentation of students of color and low-income students in NCLD’s State of LD report.

  6. Students with disabilities attend four-year colleges at half the rate of their peers without disabilities and are less likely to complete their post-secondary program.  If these individuals are not in college or have graduated from college, they are more likely to be unemployed than their peers without disabilities. What will you do to support students with disabilities’ transition to college or the workforce after graduating high school?

    Learn more about the RISE Act and the transition to life after high school for students with LD.

The Latest From NCLD

See what NCLD has been advocating for and get the most recent news on learning and attention issues.

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