President’s Message for July 2012

Janette Klingner

It is an honor and a privilege to serve you as President of the Division for Learning Disabilities. We are at a critical juncture as our field grapples with how best to identify students with learning disabilities and how to provide them with optimal instruction. More than ever, we need to rally together and support one another as we rethink and reaffirm what it means to work with students with learning disabilities, and with their families.

As President of DLD, my goals are to:

  1. Clarify the role of Response to Intervention models in identifying students with LD.
  2. Bring to the forefront conversations about cultural and linguistic diversity and the roles of race and language in special education identification;
  3. Build expertise about how to distinguish between language acquisition and learning disabilities;
  4. Consider what the Common Core State Standards mean for how we support students with LD in their general education classrooms;
  5. Disseminate information about effective, appropriate interventions for providing intensive, targeted support to students with LD;
  6. Focus on issues of population validity and ecological validity when determining if instructional practices and interventions are appropriate for diverse populations, including English language learners;
  7. Participate in conversations about how best to evaluate special education teachers in this era of accountability; and
  8. Collaborate with existing State DLD Chapters to support their local efforts, and work with those interested in starting new State DLD Chapters.

To reach these goals, I would like to:

  • increase the number of webinars sponsored by DLD (with follow-up discussions and activities);
  • initiate discussion groups on the website; and
  • develop products such as “how-to guides” to disseminate information.

I would also like to thank Paul Riccomini for his outstanding, energetic, and forward-thinking leadership as President of DLD in 2011-2012. I would also like to thank Mike Gerber, past president; Annmarie Urso, secretary; Karen Fries, student representative; and Wendy Cavendish, interim research committee chairperson for their excellent service to DLD. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such conscientious, talented, smart, and committed colleagues. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the numerous contributions of our ongoing Executive Director “par excellence,” John Lloyd.

I look forward to working with all of you to improve outcomes for students with LD. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of assistance in any way. My email address is

Janette Klingner, Ph.D.
University of Colorado, Boulder
President, Division for Learning Disabilities, Council for Exceptional Children

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