April 27th, 2016

NCLD's Impact Update - Spring 2016

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 recent accomplishments and plans in Spring 2016.
Empowering Parents
Amanda Morin and Kim Hymes speaking at a grassroots event in South Carolina

  • Understood has reached over 12 million people since its launch in fall 2014 and that number continues to grow. The editorial team has published more than 2,300 pieces of content  to help parents better understand the needs of their children, including “ADHD and Lying,” which has been read by over 400,000 parents and educators in just the first month
  • On the campaign trail! We hit the road in March and April to launch grassroots programs in early primary states New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada. Learn more about these events at
  • We hosted live streaming events in Las Vegas and Nashville reaching thousands of parents across the country. View live events at

Looking Ahead

  • We’re launching new content on ADHD, including a new Infographic “7 Ways Kids with Learning and Attention Issues Can Get Tripped Up by a Math Problem,” and a celebrity spotlight on Lisa Ling, who shares her experience of living with ADHD.
  • Our grassroots mobilization events will continue to engage parents on the national level. Keep checking for upcoming events and opportunities in your area.

Advocating for Equal Rights and Opportunities

  • NCLD successfully advocated for provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that will ensure states and schools continue to be held accountable for all students’ learning while also allowing states more flexibility to innovate. These provisions include improving literacy instruction and support to identify the early signs of reading disabilities.
  • Six months after we brought together parents and advocates in Washington, D.C. to support the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act (READ Act), President Obama signed the READ Act into law. Under this new law, the National Science Foundation (NSF) must devote $5 million every year to research on the science of learning disabilities, including dyslexia.

Looking Ahead

  • We will continue to share the recommendations that emerged from our 2015 convening on Personalized Learning, and on May 4, NCLD will host a panel discussion in partnership with the National Council of La Raza and the Alliance for Excellence in Education (AEE). RSVP here for the live webinar or here if you would like to attend in person.

Students at Currey Ingram Academy
Transforming Schools for All Students

  • We’re expanding our Schools That Work Project to assist with the implementation of a Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) within a number of Massachusetts public school districts, funded by The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation. The project:
    • provides customized support through principal coaching and mentoring within Barnstable Public Schools and Mashpee Public Schools.
    • launched the first year of a three-year program for the Cape Cod Collaborative, providing support and training to all 19 school districts in the Cape Cod and Islands region.
  • On April 6, we presented the Rozelle Founders Award to Currey Ingram Academy, an independent K-12 college-preparatory school in Brentwood, Tennessee, that is exemplary in addressing the needs of students with unique learning styles and learning differences.

Looking Ahead

  • In the coming months we’ll be finalizing plans for the next three years for the Schools that Work. This includes completing project work in the Barnstable Public Schools and continuing into the second year of projects within Mashpee Public Schools and Cape Cod Collaborative.

Elijah Ditchendorf and Jocelyn Hanrath
Ensuring Successful Futures for Young People

  • The 2016 Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas scholarships were presented to Elijah Ditchendorf and Jocelyn Hanrath at NCLD’s 39th Annual Benefit Dinner. Learn more about the 2016 award winners by visiting
  • We’ve made a commitment to engage a group of young adults in preparation for the launch of a Young Adult Council. Our goal is to include the voices of young adults with learning and attention issues in NCLD’s planning and program development and to engage them in ways that build leadership and advocacy skills.

Looking Ahead

  • Later this year, NCLD will publish the fourth edition of the State of Learning Disabilities, the foremost report offering data and critical information about learning and attention issues. The guide will be available for download on
  • We will hold the first Young Adult Council meeting and finalize our programming strategy to support young adults with learning and attention issues in their transitions from high school to college and career.

Daymond John with his mother, Margot John, recipients of the Distinguished Advocate Award at NCLD’s 39th Annual Benefit on March 9, 2016.
“I’ll do a speaking engagement for 5,000 people and I’ll say, ‘How many people in here are dyslexic?’ Four people will raise their hands. And it’s usually the CEOs and very, very powerful people that raise their hands. But people that work within these environments—they’re ashamed and they’re afraid and they don’t say it…I want to bring this awareness to people. We want to make sure that people get tested if they feel that there’s a learning challenge.”

—Daymond John, entrepreneur and star of ABC’s Shark Tank and proud member of Understood’s Board of Advocates
(Daymond John, pictured above with his mother, Margot John, recipients of the Distinguished Advocate Award at NCLD’s 39th Annual Benefit on March 9, 2016)
Read more personal stories about learning and attention issues here.

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