Events Sponsored by LDA of Michigan-Washtenaw in 2015
In March 2015, WLDA co-sponsored with The Center for Neuropsychology, Learning & Development, a presentation by Dr. Jamie Marten, an authority on Assistive Technology for Dyslexia, described and demonstrated a wide variety of technological devices and software designed to assist students with learning differences in both school and employment settings. He shared his assessment of the software that he presented for users facing different needs and budgets.
WLDA Senior Awards
In May 2015, nine students with learning differences were recognized for their achievements in high school. This annual event publicly recognizes graduating seniors from local school districts whose outstanding achievements have been highlighted by their teachers. Academic achievement is usually coupled with personal achievement unique to each student. Teachers, parents and students are able to speak at this event about their experiences. Each student recognized receives an award of $100. For many recipients, this event is the first public recognition of their success that they have received.
In October 2015, WLDA sponsored a three-day training session by Arlene Sonday, a nationally-recognized Orton-Gillingham trainer. Ms. Sonday trained local educators to use tutoring materials that she designed for the systematic and efficient planning and presentation of Orton-Gillingham lessons. The Sonday System materials can be used by experienced educators to save time in planning and preparation; they can also be used by para-professionals or parents to deliver a well-constructed and thorough lesson, with assessment incorporated into the system.
High School Transition Conference
In November 2015, WLDA co-sponsored an annual High School Transitions Conference for high school upperclassmen. This conference is held at Washtenaw Community College in November each year. WLDA coordinates with other local agencies to provide pertinent information to the students attending. Participants select from a variety of informative sessions on getting the most benefit from high school, plus post-secondary options and activities, allowing them to focus their remaining time in high school on preparing for the next phase of their lives.
In November 2015, WLDA co-sponsored with the Literacy, Language and Learning Institute a presentation on Developing Language Skills in Children Using Daily Activities. Drs. Lauren A. Katz and Joanne M. Pierson, two language therapists, shared proven techniques with parents and school staff to help them recognize and promote language development.
Young Adult Social Program
During the spring, summer and fall of 2015, a group of people who began meeting for social interaction as young students continued their activities. This group has met for 30 years to enjoy social activities in the community. Many of the original members remain in the group as adults. Typical activities include bowling, picnicking, and concert attendance.
During 2015, WLDA provided one $1000 scholarship to a young student in need of multi-sensory language tutoring. The scholarship pays for 85% of a reduced fee accepted by the participating tutor; the parent pays 15% of the cost.
During 2015, Washtenaw Community College awarded one $500 post-secondary scholarship to a student with Learning Disabilities from a fund established by WLDA in honor of Alice Warshaw, a dedicated tutor and influential founder of WLDA.