June 21, 2002

Gail E. Kurtz, President of Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) of Florida and her husband, Denton, both long time residents of Central Florida, returned yesterday from the LDA of America’s four-day Leadership and Policy Seminar in Washington, DC. The Seminar participants included 60 specially invited leaders, from across the United States, in field of Specific Learning Disabilities.

“We learned a great deal from the Seminar,” the Kurtzes commented. “The speakers, workshops, and visits to Congressional offices made us very aware of how important volunteers in Florida can be in helping legislators understand local concerns. We are enthusiastic about spreading the word to others. Talking to our legislators wasn’t as hard as we expected and it’s certainly important. They want to hear from us and need to know how we feel about issues.”

Improving educational services for children with learning disabilities is a major concern of the Learning Disabilities Association. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (known as IDEA) is up for reauthorization in Congress. This has served to make school a better place to be for those who are dyslexic or have other disabilities in math, writing, listening and speaking, but IDEA has always been underfunded.

The Kurtzes went on to say, “it’s important to keep and improve on services that our kids with learning disabilities must have, for them to become good citizens, productive workers and reach their highest potential. Finding ways to increase the number of teachers knowledgeable about learning disabilities, give them better teaching approaches and more time to teach, reduce paperwork, provide access to assistive technology, ensure needed accommodations, and continue requirements for parental involvement in the education of their child are important issues that will improve the quality and quantity of success for those with Specific Learning Disabilities.”

“Parents, teachers, and concerned citizens can all help,” the Kurtzes added. “Thanks to the Seminar, we have up-to-date information and ideas that we are anxious to share.” Anyone interested in learning more can contact LDA of Florida

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