For 14 years I have led the public policy and parent advocacy work at the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). As both a policy professional and Mom to a 12-year-old boy with dyslexia and dysgraphia, it has been my great honor to work with the most amazing team to create and grow a federal policy program in Washington, D.C.
Our primary goal has been to promote only policies that lead to every student attaining a regular high school diploma so that our kids can attend college or seek meaningful career training. With your help, we made NCLD the premier public policy advocate for people with learning disabilities (LD), growing from just 1,200 subscribers in 2004 with the launch of the legislative action center to over 34,000 subscribers today. I am so proud that NCLD is now the leading voice on Capitol Hill for the 15 million individuals with LD in the United States.
In July, I am moving to a new role as NCLD’s policy consultant at a D.C.–based government affairs firm. I am thrilled to announce that NCLD’s new director of public policy is Lindsay Jones, Esq., who is a wonderful, well-respected and powerful advocate for children. For the last four years, Lindsay has served as senior director for policy and advocacy at the Council for Exceptional Children and brings a wealth of education experience and passion to her work. I’ve partnered with her on many key issues and have seen first hand that she is a relentless advocate for students having highly trained and effective teachers and against the disturbing trend of placing teachers with just a few weeks of training in our highest need schools. Lindsay has fought for special education research funding to support teachers. She has trained hundreds of special education advocates nationwide. I know she will work hard every day to represent and speak for you and your children and I am confident that under Lindsay’s guidance, NCLD’s voice will only grow stronger.
With the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) pending in both the House and the Senate, NCLD’s leadership is more important than ever to protect the interests of people with LD. We’ve helped shape a powerful ESEA bill in the Senate and have fought to oppose efforts to take thousands of our children off track from a regular diploma. This is a critical time for our community, and I know that the work to protect your child’s rights is in good hands with our policy team in Washington, D.C., and with Lindsay.
As I transition to working with NCLD in a new way, I want to thank you for your calls, emails and notes over the years. Just knowing I was connected to the moms, dads, teachers, siblings and grandparents of millions of amazing kids gave me new energy each day. As NCLD makes this important change, I know your partnership with Lindsay will be strong and vital. I wish all of you a vibrant and very loud future!