History

Some Notes on the History of DLD

The Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD) was organized in 1983 to promote the education and general welfare of people with Learning Disabilities, and it was recognized by the Board of Governors of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) 1 July 1983. After a two-year charter period and developing a constitution and bylaws (since amended), DLD applied for and received status as a Division within CEC.

In 2008 in Boston (MA, US) at the celebration of DLD’s 25th anniversary, President Kathleen J. Marshall welcomed hundreds of guest with the message that follows.  

Many volunteers have served DLD over the years. On a different page, DLD acknowledges people who have been elected treasurer for the organization. Listed to the right of President Marshall’s remarks are the names of people of have served as president of DLD (updated through June 2019).


As President of the Division for Learning Disabilities, I am pleased to welcome you to this celebration of the organization’s 25th anniversary. The Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD) began its formal existence at a meeting of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) in 1983 when a group of eminent figures in our discipline—Carrie Brodie, William Cruickshank, and Samuel Kirk—formed an ad hoc committee and petitioned CEC on behalf of themselves and other members of CEC to form DLD.


In the 25 years since those leaders’ efforts on behalf of students with Learning Disabilities, DLD has pursued its mission in many ways. In cooperation with Blackwell Publishing, DLD publishes the widely respected Learning Disabilities Research & Practice. It distributes a newsletter, once called the DLD Times and recently re-christened New Times for DLD, to members. In collaboration with the Division for Research, it develops and publishes Current Practice Alerts which are timely and informed reports about professional practices in the field. It provides an extensive Web site, TeachingLD, that is visited by tens of thousands of browsers every month. And these are only a few of DLD’s activities.


At the time of DLD’s inception, Learning Disabilities was experiencing rapid growth. As a relatively new category of disability, there was substantial emphasis on identifying students who required special education because of Learning Disabilities and extensive interest in research about the nature and treatment of Learning Disabilities. Today, there is renewed concern about prevention of Learning Disabilities and the discipline supports an extensive research base.


I welcome you to join DLD as we pursue the improvement of educational outcomes for students with Learning Disabilities and the general welfare of individuals with LD.

Kathleen J. Marshall
President, 2006-2007


DLD President

Year of Presidency

Sister Marie Grant (d)

Carol Weller (d)

Harold McGrady

Sharon Vaughn

Jeannette Fleischner (d)

Robert Abbott (d)

Cathy Barlow

Jean Lokerson (d)

Elise Blankenship

Cynthia Terry

Esther Minskoff

Candace Bos (d)

Cheri Hoy

Donald Deshler

Daniel P. Hallahan

Jean B. Schumaker

Edward Martin

Charles Hughes

Naomi Zigmond

Edwin Ellis

Susan Osborne

John Wills Lloyd

Karen J. Rooney

Kathleen J. Marshall

Rollanda O’Connor

Linda Siegel

Michael Gerber

Paul Riccomini

Janette Klingner (d)

Erica Lembke

David Chard

Laurie deBettencourt

Linda Mason

Stephanie Al Otaiba

Kristin Sayeski

Michael Fagella-Luby

1983-1985

1985-1986

1986-1987

1987-1988

1988-1989

1989-1990

1990-1991

1991-1992

1992-1993

1993-1994

1994-1995

1995-1996

1996-1997

1997-1998

1998-1999

1999-2000

2000-2001

2001-2002

2002-2003

2003-2004

2004-2005

2005-2006

2006-2007

2007-2008

2008-2009

2009-2010

2010-2011

2011-2012

2012-2013

2013-2014

2014-2015

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

2018-2019