The Liaison Committee represents the Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD) in advocacy efforts for students with learning disabilities, provides updates from their work with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), and participates in the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) writing papers in collaboration with other organizations. Members of CLD are often called upon to take action in alerting their elected officials about our views toward pending legislation. Information regarding our participation in all of these efforts and others can be found on the Advocacy, CCD, NJCLD pages.


An update on the Liaison Committee’s work is provided at each of the CLD national conferences, and a committee meeting is held that is open to all attendees. In addition, members are encouraged to act throughout the year on various issues.

ANNIVERSARY OF ADA (Message from Senator Tom Harkin – Retired):

Tomorrow [July 26th], we celebrate the 26th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As you know, this annual commemoration is very important to me, as I was the chief sponsor of the bill and led the Senate effort to passage in 1990.

 In the past 26 years, America has taken many steps forward in transforming the experiences of people with disabilities. While the ADA’s enactment sent a message that we would no longer put up with second-class citizenship for Americans with disabilities, there continues to be room for growth. While we plan and work for a future of many more achievements, it is important to celebrate our past successes. As you celebrate the 26th anniversary of the passage of the ADA, please consider sharing this video with your organization’s staff, supporters, and friends. In it, I share my pride for the work initiated by the Americans with Disabilities Act that you and your organization have helped sustain.

 At the Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement, we celebrate the ADA every day, as we facilitate nonpartisan policy research along with active civic engagement dedicated to the issues that people with disabilities face. How are you celebrating this anniversary and honoring the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act? Join the conversation with the hashtag #ADA26.

Have a great celebration!

 Thank you,

 Senator Tom Harkin (Retired


Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was passed by the House and Senate in early December. President Obama signed the act on December 10, 2016 and is scheduled to take full effect in the 2017-2018 academic year. ESSA tries to preserve the spirit of NCLB, but it provides more freedom to states and local school districts to meet requirements. The Act changes the way in which States and school districts are held accountable for student performance. States are now responsible for designing accountability systems following Federal guidelines that emphasize academics but also include an additional indicator of school quality and or student success. The United States Department of Education is currently working on draft regulations, and states are working on their individual State Plans. It is important that we stay alert to comment on the draft regulations and that we are involved in the formulation of our state plans. Watch for alerts from us on email and the CLD website.


Click here for the Learning Disabilities Advocacy


Click here for the Learning Disabilities CCD Updates


Click here for the Learning Disabilities NJCLD Updates


Click here for the Learning Disabilities Additional CLD Position Papers



Liaison Committee Members–Debi Gartland,Roberta Strosnider,Tricia Strickland,Don Hammill