NCLD has made incredible strides improving outcomes for the 1 in 5 people with learning and attention issues. As a leader and bridge-builder for the field, we know meaningful impact is achieved only through the relentless pursuit of results and excellence. This winter, NCLD continued working toward significant change for the 1 in 5 by advocating for their rights and redoubling our efforts to provide the best information and resources possible.

Tapping Into Educators’ Expertise

To support all students, we are working to deepen educators’ understanding of learning and attention issues and provide them with actionable resources and training. Building off of a comprehensive literature review, we’re working directly with teachers to find out what they need to help students with learning and attention issues thrive. In the beginning of 2018, we conducted focus groups across urban, rural and suburban schools, and surveyed more than 1,300 teachers nationwide. We sought to better understand their awareness and familiarity with learning and attention issues, their most-used tools, and how prepared they feel to support the needs of all students in their classrooms. This information is invaluable as we continue to shape the way we strategically and holistically support educators..

Leading the World in Supporting Parents

At February’s Zero Project 2018 Conference, an initiative of the Essl Foundation centered on accessibility, was named one of the 10 most innovative solutions in the world for dismantling barriers for people with disabilities. Leading up to the conference and in collaboration with Ashoka, we worked with social entrepreneurs around the world to explore a strategy focused on scaling Understood’s impact to reach even more parents and affect change in the lives of their children.

Advocating for the Success of All Students

In December, the House of Representatives introduced the PROSPER Act-a harmful bill that excludes opportunities for students with disabilities to excel in college. NCLD strongly opposed this bill, and created a Thunderclap campaign that reached more than 250,000 people on social media. Users sent messages directly to policymakers voting on the bill to urge them to reject any education legislation that doesn’t provide opportunities for all students to succeed.

This winter, we also hosted two panels at SxSW Edu, one of the country’s leading education conferences, gathered hundreds of signatures to help uphold the important protections that exist under the the Americans with Disabilities Act, and held our Annual Benefit Dinner, which raised $2.8 million dollars to support all of NCLD’s programs. We named our 2018 Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholars, continued to work closely with stakeholders in key states and build our network of parent advocates, and released a toolkit to empower parents to ask for schoolwide teacher training that will help them better serve children with learning and attention issues.

Professional Advisory Board Spotlight

NCLD’s Professional Advisory Board (PAB) includes leading educators, psychologists, researchers, physicians, and advocates who help to guide programs and advise the staff.

Gabrielle Rappolt-Schlichtmann, EdD.Learning scientist Gabrielle Rappolt-Schlichtmann, EdD., leads EdTogether, a not-for-profit organization focused on creating sustained change toward the meaningful inclusion of students with learning differences in general education classrooms and wherever else learning happens. Currently, EdTogether is collaborating with the Boston Museum of Science to create new exhibits designed to engage students with learning differences to productively struggle with big ideas in science and develop deep interests in STEM more broadly. Design guidelines from the project will be leveraged by museums across the U.S. EdTogether is also working with districts in New England and teens with learning disabilities to spread best-practice, evidence-based strategies for inclusive classrooms.


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.

Meet the NCLD Team

Carrying out the NCLD mission to improve outcomes for the 1 in 5 individuals with learning and attention issues.


Young Adult Initiatives

Help empower and advocate for young adults ages 18–26 with learning disabilities and attention issues.

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