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Learning Disabilities Summit Building a Foundation for the Future

The Learning Disabilities Summit: Building a Foundation for the Future was held in Washington, DC on August 27 – 28, 2001. This Summit was a part of a national initiative sponsored by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of the U.S. Department of Education.

OSEP has realized for some time that there is concern over the current identification and assessment procedures for LD. In the final regulations for IDEA 1997, OSEP stated, “ the Department plans to carefully review research findings, expert opinion, and practical knowledge over the next several years to determine whether changes should be proposed to the procedures for evaluating children suspected of having a specific learning disability (3/12/99).”

Early in 2000, OSEP began developing a process to open a discussion on the identification and assessment of children with learning disabilities. Our primary goal was to synthesize and organize the most current and reliable research that we have on key issues in learning disabilities. Secondly, we wanted to make sure that this process fully involved a broad variety of perspectives from other research agencies, national organizations and stakeholders. We also recognized both the technical and political nature of this issue and made a commitment to address these concerns in our process.

The Learning Disabilities Summit provided an opportunity for stakeholders to hear and respond to findings from a series of white papers regarding learning disabilities. Each white paper, written by nationally recognized experts in the field, reviews relevant empirical research and describe what the field currently knows -- as well as the limits of what is known -- about several critical issues

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