President's Highlights

Laurie U. deBettencourt

President highlights, Summer, 2015 through the Spring of 2016

I have enjoyed serving as the president of our organization and want to thank all of you, for your continued commitment to the Division of Learning Disabilities! We remain one of the strongest divisions in CEC and continue to have a national presence thanks to the efforts of our dynamic and very connected members of the board.

The board has worked diligently this fall and spring to represent our membership in discussions and meetings across the country. We hosted our fall board meeting digitally to save the costs of travel. Given the technology available to host meetings we were able to network and discuss next steps as a board without having to worry about the expenses of air travel and hotel reservations.

One of the topics of discussion at our fall meeting and our monthly presidential calls was the discussion of our strategic plan and how it aligns to our goals for the organization.  We also reviewed the policies outlined in our constitution to make sure we are financially independent of our parent organization, the Council for Exceptional Children. In addition, we reviewed any necessary next steps to ensure financial stability should a board member in a position with financial responsibilities step down.

We are pleased to welcome our own president elect, Linda H. Mason, as our new Editor for the Journal for DLD, Learning Disabilities Research and Practice. The February issue was a transition issue and the May Issue will begin her editorship in full speed. Welcome Linda! Please watch for papers that are published in LDRP to be posted on the members’ side of our website.


We hope that you will join us for DLD activities at CEC, April 13th-16th in St. Louis, Missouri. We will have our DLD showcase session, “Do this, not that! Part 2: Differentiating Tier 2 and Tier 3 Interventions at 2:15pm m on Friday April 15th. In addition, our business meeting and social will be on the evening of Thursday, April 14th. We encourage all to attend our business and social as we will giving several awards to our members. Please watch for updated location and time information on the website and within the CEC conference scheduler.


We continue to update our website and provide important information to our membership. We are continuing to collect video clips from leaders in the field regarding how their work connects to practitioners, and the challenges and supports in the field as we move forward. This series, entitled “Voices from the Field” is available for viewing on our website. We hope you will take a look and learn from leaders such as Lynn and Doug Fuchs, Sharon Vaughn, Diane and Brian Bryant, Dan Hallahan, and Barbara Bateman, among others. In addition, products such as the Current Practice Alerts continue to be updated and are available for viewing as a member benefit.


The DLD board continues to do our best to meet the needs of members, while keeping us on the cutting edge of current research and practice in the field of LD. DLD representatives are ‘at the table’ at important meetings like the roundtable on Response to Intervention and SLD identification hosted by the National Center on Learning Disabilities.  In addition, representatives attend policy meetings of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities and regular meetings with other CEC division leaders. Many of our board members have also been in Washington as the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind was completed this fall.  As you know, The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015. The board is continuing to be involved in the next steps as this bill certainly will affect children with learning disabilities, so stay tuned!


While multi-tiered models of academic support continue to grow, the resources, information, and advocacy that DLD continues to provide for students with LD and their teachers remains. Thank you so much for your continued involvement and support and we look forward to continuing to provide you services and products to enhance your teaching, research, professional development, and advocacy. As always, we would welcome your feedback and input and we can be reached at Prezteam@TeachingLD.org. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to add on a DLD membership. The resources provided on our website (http://teachingld.org/) and the journal membership to Learning Disabilities Research and Practice is well worth the membership dues.