It is with great honor that I begin my presidency for the Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD) for the 2016-17 year. I stand on the shoulders of giants, leaders who have led DLD during difficult times and transition. I especially want to recognize the commitment of our current Past President, Laurie deBettencourt, and immediate Past President, David Chard, and Executive Director, John Lloyd, for their dedication in addressing the diverse needs of those who make up the DLD membership which includes professional educators, teacher educators, related service providers, parents, administrators, preservice educators, graduate students, and researchers. I have no doubt that our current leadership will continue the outstanding work of these individuals and will serve DLD membership well.
In the context of increasing accountability and shrinking budgets, the DLD board remains focused on high quality evidence-based inclusive education for all students with LD. During the next year, through collaboration within DLD membership and professional organizations at the national, state, and local levels, the board will continue to develop and support initiatives that (a) bridge gaps between research and practice by acknowledging and addressing the constraints of curriculum, assessment, and changes in teacher-preparation; (b) increase methods to reach out and provide information to culturally diverse, low-income, and hard-to-reach groups; and (c) scale-up advocacy by enhancing visibility and access to DLD’s rich media resources. We remain committed to keeping our membership up-to-date with board initiatives and welcome your ideas on how to best meet our objectives.
Our Fall 2016 board meeting will be in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in late September. As part of that meeting, DLD will evaluate initiatives regarding how to best serve our membership within the context of declining membership in CEC, changes in U.S. and state policies, and increasing demand for web-based resources. Our goal is to maintain the strength and relevance of our organization while examining our financial and management structure. We look forward to sharing our ideas with you all this spring at the annual CEC convention in Boston.
I would like to thank Jeanne Wanzek for her outstanding service and commitment to DLD as board secretary. We are all pleased that she will remain on the board has Vice-President. Michael Fagella-Luby will also remain on the board, as secretary. I personally thank him for his prior service and expertise in data interpretation as Membership Chair. I also want to thank Alexandra Miller, Student Representative, for her role in organizing a fabulous student poster session at the annual conference and Mira Cole, New Times for DLD Co-Editor, for her diligence in producing outstanding newsletters. I look forward to working this year with the current board members and our new board members – Nancy Mamlin, Interim Executive Director, Devon Kerns, Membership Chair Carlos Lavin, Student Representative, and Shaqwana Freeman-Green, New Times for DLD co-editor.