National Center for Learning Disabilities

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Be an LD Advocate

As the parent of a child with a learning disability (LD) or an adult with LD, you understand the need to advocate for yourself and others. But how do you take it to the next level? How can you reach policymakers and push for change? Take action on our website through Action Alerts and learn more about the issues. If you are interested in advocacy, our internship is a great opportunity for a hands on experience.

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Be an LD Advocate

 

Talking About Learning Disabilities

About Disabilities - Children With Disabilities in School

What You Say Really Does Matter

As a professional working in the field of learning disabilities (LD) I am comforted to be surrounded (at least most of the time) by individuals who understand that learning disabilities are real and who appreciate the importance of timely, well-targeted and effective interventions to address the needs of people with LD in school, at home and in the community.

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How About “Occupy” LD?

What Is A Parent Advocacy - Parent AdvocacyAt the end of each year, TIME Magazine devotes its last issue to the Person of the Year, and this year, it selected “the protester” as the focus of what was an especially exciting and tumultuous 12 months. In a matter of a few weeks, the word “occupy” took on a whole new meaning, with protests erupting across the globe (sometimes with violence, more often peaceably) to give voice to people who want the world to be a better place, who feel that governments are not representing their interests, and that a privileged few are benefitting at the expense of the many.

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Learning to Talk About LD

Advocate for Education - Special Education Advocate  The first step to being an effective LD advocate is understanding the issue and how to talk about it. Your personal experiences may be motivating you, but it is important to educate yourself about the facts and figures and broaden your understanding of LD beyond what you’ve learned through those personal experiences. Knowing some of the “hot button” issues and how to deal with them is also essential. Regardless of whether these issues are of interest to you, one or more is likely to come up in discussions with policymakers and the media.

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Self-Advocacy

What is Self Advocacy - Student AdvocateIf your learning disability is identified before you graduate from high school, self-advocacy activities should include your active involvement in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. Getting the help you need to be successful later on at work or in post-secondary school settings will depend upon your ability to be an effective and outspoken self-advocate, and these are skills that you can and should develop as soon as possible.

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Working With Policymakers

Child Advocacy - Advocacy Groups All politics are local—every piece of legislation that exists has local implications and is also based on local needs. It seems obvious, but it's important to remember. It means that laws exist because people like you worked to make them happen. Most of our current laws that assist and protect people with learning disabilities came from the grassroots efforts of advocates like you. Both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) came to be because advocates (not Senators or highly paid lobbyists) took action and educated policymakers as to why these laws needed to exist.

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Working with the Media

Self Advocacy - Self Advocacy Skills Think of the media as a tool. Getting media coverage can help you draw attention to specific issues regarding learning disabilities, educate the public, and put policymakers on the spot by drawing attention to their actions. The media wields a lot of power in society today, but behind all the newsprint and sound waves, reporters are people like you who want to share good stories with the public. With a good angle and the right timing, you can bring a lot of attention to the needs and rights of children with learning disabilities.

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Three Children with Dyslexia, and Standing Up for All of Them

Special Education Parent AdvocatesThe following is a transciption of the podcast, "Andrew Kavulich on How to Be a Dad-vocate for Children with Learning Disabilities."

What role should a father play in a home where one (or more) child has learning disabilities? How important is the dad’s voice and presence when meeting with school personnel? Advocate dad and NCLD Parent Leader, Andrew Kavulich spoke to us with the voice of experience. He has four children -- and three of them have dyslexia. Andrew, who is a full-time stay-at-home dad, encourages parents to maintain a united front when communicating with educators.

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Tips for Becoming an LD Advocate

LD AdvocateTo become an effective LD advocate, you need to understand what you are trying to represent. Though personal experiences may drive you, the ability to relate those experiences to the community as a whole is necessary to foment understanding and ultimately change. Simply understanding an issue as it relates to your personal experiences is not enough. Acquiring more information about learning disabilities is very simple.

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A Stay-at-Home Dad's Perspective on Parent Advocacy

Dad Advocate InterviewThe following is a transcription of the podcast, “Michael Kaczor on How to Be a Dad-vocate for Children with Learning Disabilities.”

What role should a father play in a home where one (or more) child has learning disabilities? How important is the dad’s voice and presence when meeting with school personnel? In this interview, dad-vocate and NCLD Parent Leader, Michael Kaczor shares a number of interesting tips. Michael is an Independent Master Advocate who works to ensure not only his son’s rights, but also the rights of students in various school districts and states.

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A Dad of Six on How to Stand Up for Children with LD

Dad Advocate for LDThe following is a transcript of the podcast, "Altaf Rahamatulla on How to be a Dad-vocate for Children with Learning Disabilities."

What role should a father play in a home where one (or more) child has learning disabilities? How important is the dad’s voice and presence when meeting with school personnel? We asked NCLD Parent Leader, Altaf Rahamatulla and he offered some wise advice. As the father of six children, one of whom has a learning disability, Altaf told us how he addresses misunderstandings among siblings and emphasized the importance of fathers taking part in conversations between parents and educators.

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