2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the National Center for Learning Disabilities. For four decades, we’ve fought hard to uphold the rights of the 1 in 5 with learning and attention issues, and empower individuals to succeed in school, at work and in life.
 
In 40 years, one thing has remained constant: we know that those with learning and attention issues are just as smart and capable as their peers, and with the right supports, can flourish. The beginning of 2017 brought some of our greatest accomplishments as we work to support the 1 in 5.

In May, NCLD released the 4th edition of The State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5, which, for the first time ever, is fully digital and interactive. The State of LD includes snapshots of all 50 states and how their resources and support for students with learning and attention issues compare to national averages. The report features personal stories, interactive data sets, printable resources, policy recommendations and evidence-based practices to help the 1 in 5 with learning and attention issues thrive.

This spring, Understood.org reached the highest number of monthly viewers to date: 2 million. Since the launch of this innovative platform, we’ve been able to directly impact millions of families who are searching for answers about their experiences with learning and attention issues. And while we help them on their journeys, we are also building a supportive community that empowers parents to mobilize for the rights and opportunities that their children need to succeed.

On June 6th, we hosted a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill. “Breaking Down Barriers to Success: Policy, Progress and the State of Learning Disabilities” brought Members of Congress, experts and youth and parent advocates together for a discussion about the challenges facing those with learning and attention issues and how we can help to overcome them. The event was livestreamed on the Understood Facebook page where more than 25,000 people tuned in. We were joined by Senator Bob Casey, Senator Maggie Hassan, Congressman Larry Bucshon and Senator Chris Murphy and discussed the RISE Act—important legislation that NCLD worked with Members of Congress to introduce into both the House and Senate that same day.

Each year, NCLD’s benefit dinner brings together some of the biggest champions of the 1 in 5 with learning and attention issues. This year, it also brought us $3 million closer to our fundraising goals, as we honored the contributions of Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the U.S., and designer Dao-Yi Chow, co-founder of the fashion line Public School. We are deeply grateful for this support and continue to fundraise to achieve our goals.

Throughout the beginning of this year, we also continued our work on personalized learning, took a stance on how decisions being made in Washington will impact children with learning and attention issues, honored schools and educators providing environments and instruction that foster success, and continued to call on our federal leaders to invest in a quality education for all students.

We still have much ahead of us, and we are eager to continue this great work on behalf of the 1 in 5.

 

If you want to learn more about how we’re supporting the 1 in 5 and how you can help, sign up for our email list, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.To make a gift in support of NCLD’s work, please click here.

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