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LD Grantee Convening 2015

At the beginning of March 2015, we hosted our first ever Learning Disabilities Grantee Convening. This event brought together grantees from our LD Tower Planning Study to share their projects and learning with educators, funders, and each other. This page collects the Convening program and the participants' presentations -- as well as some suggested LD-related resources -- in one place for your enjoyment.

The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation Learning Disabilities Grantee Convening 2015 Program lists event attendees and the Convening program.

If you want to see how things went down on Twitter, take a look at this Storify summary.

Presentation Handouts

Gow School

Landmark School

Carroll School

Buffalo State College

Daemen College

Parent Network of Western New York

Learning Disabilities Association of Western New York

Roundtable Flip Chart Notes


Out-of-School Time Supports

Equipment and Technology

Social and Emotional Learning

Recommended LD Resources

The Tower Foundation staff asked some of their partners in the LD field for recommended reading, and added a few suggestions of their own.

Stacy Parker-Fisher, Director of the Oak Foundation's Learning Differences Programme, suggests:

  • Schools for All Kinds of Minds, by Mary-Dean Barringer, Craig Pohlman, Michele Robinson, and Paul Orfalea. The All Kinds of Minds web site tells us that, "The book shows how schools can, and must, develop expertise in 'learning variation' (understanding how different kinds of minds learn) and apply this knowledge to classroom instruction in order to address the chronic learning challenges and achievement gap faced by millions of students."

Dana Brinson (Programme Officer, Learning Differences Programme, Oak Foundation) recommends:

  • What Motivates Me, by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. She explains, "This book, and access to the online assessment tool that comes with each purchase of the book, helps you understand what motivates you at work and how to 'job sculpt' so that your work feeds your motivators. A great activity to share with your colleagues so that you can understand what gets you energized at work!"

  • Helping Traumatized Children Learn, Volume 2 by the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative, a partnership of Massachusetts Advocates for Children and Harvard Law School. This book builds on the research outlined in Volume 1 about the impact of trauma on learning, by providing a framework for whole-school efforts to create trauma sensitive schools. This guide provides a flexible framework that works well with other whole-school efforts such as Response to Instruction and Intervention or Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, to create environments that support the learning and social emotional well begin of all children, including those with learning differences.

Dana also wants to share two online courses (MOOCs) that are free and for training teachers:

David Flink, Chief Empowerment Officer and Co-Founder of Eye to Eye, had several ideas for articles and videos to get people thinking. Some of them are LD-specific, some not:

Tracy Sawicki, Executive Director here at the Tower Foundation, encourages people to read:

Nick Randell, Tower Foundation Program Officer, recommends people take a look at:

  • Thinking Differently: An Inspiring Guide for Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities, by David Flink Yes, this is the same David Flink who offered the recommendations above. While he was too modest to plug his own book, we feel it's too important to be overlooked. David shares his own story of growing up with dyslexia and attention issues, and offers sound counsel and hope to parents whose children are in similar situations.
  • Nick also offered a meta-recommendation, pointing us to an article on the web site, "9 Books for Empowering Parents." A couple of our recommendations make this list, but there's plenty more to take in. We're certainly going to be spending some time with the books that we haven't already read!

Don Matteson, Tower Foundation Chief Program Officer, suggests people spend some time with:

  • The Dyslexic Advantage, by Brock L. Eide and Fernette F. Eide. The Eides make a compelling argument for reframing the way society views dyslexia. Rather than seeing it as a disability or deficit of some sort, they posit that dyslexia arises from brain organization that makes reading more difficult, but also augments a variety of talents and skills.
  • State of Learning Disabilities, Third Edition, 2014, from National Center for Learning Disabilities If you're trying to get a high-level overview of LD from just one source, this is a good place to start. It offers useful definitions, information on public perception of LD, where things stand in schools, and emerging issues in the field. Not exactly a page-turner, but a lot of valuable information in one place.
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