Secretary Update

Jeanne Wanzek

Update on DLD Activities

Jeanne Wanzek, DLD Secretary

The DLD board was busy in 2014 working on several initiatives and activities to fulfill the organization’s purpose of promoting high-quality education and research for persons with learning disabilities. New officers began their terms on the DLD Executive Board July 1, 2014. David Chard moved into the presidency, replacing Erica Lembke, who is now serving as past president. Laurie deBettencourt serves as president-elect, and Linda Mason is our new vice president. I, Jeanne Wanzek have started as secretary and Margaret (Peggy) Weiss continues as our treasurer.  Michael Faggella-Luby, William (Bill) Therrien, David Bateman, Bryan Cook, Rebecca Zumeta, and Diane Rodriguez serve as the DLD committee chairs. Miriam Ortiz is our new student representative, and John Lloyd continues as our executive director. 

2014 Accomplishments

At the 2014 Council for Exceptional Children annual meeting, DLD sponsored a showcase session called “Take a Stance! Division for Learning Disabilities Position Statements”.  The panel of authors for the position statements includes: Erica Lembke, Jeanne Wanzek, Bryan Cook, Rebecca Zumeta, and Diane Rodriguez. They all shared their views on the two new position statements: 1) What special education should be for English language learners with LD, and 2) Which intensive interventions should be used for students with LD These statements were also published in 2014 Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, Volume 29, Issue 3. Past president Janette Klingner provided significant leadership in preparing each of these position statements.

During the DLD reception at the CEC convention, we also enjoyed a wide range of presentations at the student poster session. Advancing students showcased their high-quality research relevant to the field of learning disabilities.  It is our hope that you will be able to join us for the 2015 student poster session held in conjunction with the annual DLD reception during the CEC convention on April 9, 2015 in San Diego, CA.

We are also excited about the upcoming DLD sponsored showcase session for the 2015 CEC convention in San Diego, CA: “Do This Not That: Unraveling Common Instructional Myths for Students with LD”. Stephen Ciullo, Devin Kearns, Chris Lemons, Rebecca Zumeta, and Diane Rodriguez will present the session on April 9 from 2:15-3:15. They will describe common myths and instructional mistakes surrounding implementation, provide practical examples for improving instruction, and share resources to help educators make adaptations to promote engagement and intensive intervention for students with LD.

At the 2014 business meeting held at the CEC convention, we honored Janette Klingner for her service to DLD as well as her tireless work on behalf of students with learning disabilities and the field of special education. A resolution in Janette’s honor was read and presented in the CEC Representative Assembly as well. Janette was an outstanding scholar and leader in our field and will be missed, though her impact on our field will continue.

We also presented several well-deserved awards at the 2014 business meeting. Dr. Freeman-Green (Illinois State University; PhD from UNC-Charlotte) was presented with the Doctoral Research Award for her dissertation, “Effects of the Solve Strategy for Students with Learning Disabilities”. Lee Swanson, Cathy Lussier, and Michael Orosco were presented with the Kirk Award for their outstanding contribution to the literature on learning disabilities with the article, “Effects of Cognitive Strategy Intervention and Cognitive Moderators on Word Problem Solving in Children at Risk for Problem Solving Difficulties”. Don Deshler and Kristen McMaster presented the Fleischner Leadership Award to recipients, Charles Hughes (Penn State University) and Christine Espin (University of Leiden, Netherlands) honoring their work in advancing the field of learning disabilities. At the DLD reception, we also honored the longstanding work of Tom Scruggs and Margo Mastropieri. 

In the fall of 2014, DLD sponsored a webinar series on co-teaching. Laurie deBettencourt and Peggy Weiss addressed the practical issues of implementing evidence-based practices regarding co-teaching in real world classrooms at both the elementary and secondary levels. If you were unable to join us for the webinars, they are available for purchase through CEC.

A new Current Practice Alert was also published. Tim and Kim Landrum examined the concept of learning styles in “Learning Styles (Recommendation: Use Caution)”, noting the research underlying the application of learning style-based instruction is limited in many ways and generally demonstrates no benefit for students.

We are looking forward to a successful 2015. If you would like to be more involved with DLD activities, please don’t hesitate to contact myself or any of the other officers, committee chairs, or editors (see http://teachingld.org/officers for a list).