President's Message for July 2009
I would like to begin my term by noting my wonderful colleagues on the executive board and the editors of DLD’s publications. These dedicated individuals have given generously of their expertise and time.
Some of the people who have helped DLD work are leaving us. Thanks to them for their service:
- Kathleen Marshall, whose wisdom and perspective was much appreciated.
- Naomi Zigmond, for overseeing the research committee.
- Charles Hughes for editing Learning Disabilities Research & Practice with skill and fairness.
- Tiffany Leger Rodriguez and Tori Sanchez for helping us understand the issues of students and coordinating the student poster sessions.
Others are joining the board or assuming editorial duties: They, too, deserve thanks:
- Marjorie Montague, chair of the Research Committee, who will help oversee DLD’s contributions to the Alerts series.
- Diane Haagar, one of our newly appointed co-editor for Learning Disabilities Research & Practice.
- Christine Espin, also a newly appointed co-editor for Learning Disabilities Research & Practice.
- William Therrien, who will be lead editor for New Times for DLD.
- Shannon Gormley, who will be associate editor for New Times for DLD.
And to the many folks who will continue in various roles for DLD, I extend my thanks, too:
- Randi O’Connor, now past-president, whose leadership was inspiring and will be a hard act to follow.
- Kimberley Bright, our re-elected treasurer, who manages the finances so well.
- Erica Lembke, secretary, for her great minute-taking skills and enthusiasm for all our discussions.
- Paige Pullen, chair of the Publications Committee, who has worked tirelessly to ensure that our newsletter and journals are timely and informative.
- Kristen McMaster, chair of the Professional Development, Standards, and Ethics Committee, who has put so much energy into professional development.
- Elizabeth Parrett, chair of the Membership Committee, who returns for another round of advocating for the members of DLD.
- David Bateman, chair of the Public Policy Committee, who shares his understanding of the law and his skill in navigating that minefield.
- Jose Luis Alvarado, chair of the Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Committee for guiding us in dealing with minority issues.
- John Lloyd for his efficiency, good humor and keeping us in line; he has been heard to mumble something about “herding cats.”
Pursuing the Holy Grail of a Definition
One of the challenges in the year ahead is to produce a statement about the definition of learning disabilities that will satisfy most of us. The Herculean task will involve a great deal of work and some compromise but I believe that, unlike Sisyphus, we will be able to push the rock to the top of the mountain.
Considering the almost-50-year history of trying to arrive at a definition that satisfies most people, you may be rolling your eyes and thinking, “What’s new?” I think that we have arrived at a point that we can attack this issue with new energy and information. Contemporary emphasis on identification in the context of response to instruction makes this a good time to consider the issues.
I encourage all members to join in our discussion. Send the board a note using the contact-us page or by postal mail to
Division for Learning Disabilities
c/o John W. Lloyd
Curry School of Education
P.O. Box 400271
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4271
I invite all members to our division meeting in San Diego in October 23-24. The theme of the conference is Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice. In addition to many exciting speakers, DLD will welcome Barbara Keogh as a special guest.
I invite all members to the annual meeting of the Council for Exceptional Children in Nashville 21-24 April. DLD will be a part of the 2010 Convention & Expo, with special speakers, meetings, and a fabulous reception.
I look forward to working with all of you.