Orange County Learning Disabilities Association

About the Orange County Learning Disabilities Association

The Orange County Learning Disabilities Association (OCLDA) is a private, self-help, volunteer, non-profit, charitable 501 (c)(3) organization. Our membership is comprised of parents and professionals who are concerned with the welfare of children and adults who have learning disabilities. OCLDA is supported by membership dues and the charitable contributions of people who are dedicated to providing information to the public on learning disabilities. Please visit our membership page if you have an interest in joining our organization.

The Orange County Learning Disabilities Association was established in 1960 by a courageous group of parents from the Bay Area in Northern California and Orange County in Southern California who wanted a better education for their children who were having difficulties with learning. The organization was incorporated as the California Association for Neurologically Handicapped Children (CANHC -- it rhymes with panic). That name reflected the medical nature of the minimal brain dysfunction involved.

During the 1960s and 1970s, CANHC became a very powerful advocate for children with minimal brain dysfunction. These parents were responsible for the passage of the Walde bill, which separated out our children from those children who were truly mentally retarded and established Educationally Handicapped (EH) classes for those with minimal brain dysfunction.

In 1975 our parents were very active in working with the national Association for Children with Learning Disabilities (ACLD) to advocate the passage of federal legislation, PL 94-142, an act which included learning disabilities in Special Education.

Orange Learning Disabilities Association

In 1977 CANHC was invited to join ACLD. Because CANHC was the more powerful group of parents, we did not want to lose our name. So we became CANHC-ACLD, hoping to preserve the neurological nature of the disorder. However, parents did not like to call their children "neurologically handicapped." They liked "learning disabilities" more even though the term moved the disorder from medicine to education. In 1987 we became ACLD-California and, a year later, our name was changed to the Learning Disabilities Association of California (LDA-CA), when the national organization followed the Canadian Association and became Learning Disabilities Association of America. Our affiliate is now known as the Orange County Learning Disabilities Association, (OCLDA), an affiliate of the Learning Disabilities Association of California (LDA-CA).

For the last 50 years, OCLDA has been active at the local, state and national levels, gathering and disseminating information about learning disabilities to both parents and professionals. Our newsletter has been continuously published. Currently it is published every two months. All members are invited to contribute to it. We distribute our newsletter to all superintendents of our 26 Orange County school districts as well as all Directors of Special Education and all SELPA Directors. All Orange County legislators in the California legislature and the US Congress receive our affiliate's newsletter. Our newsletter is shared with many local community agencies.

OCLDA has produced two videos, All Children Learn Differently and A Child's First Words, which are for sale in our Store. Our Executive Board meets monthly to direct the work of the association. Our warm line is answered by board members. Our Vice-President, Adult Issues, counsels with adults to help them find information. Our advocate works with parents to help them develop proper Individual Educational Plans. Other board members work with our state affiliate to present the annual state conference. We invite members to recommend professionals for Certificates of Merit for outstanding performance. We give a few scholarships upon application to professionals to attend workshops and conferences to increase their knowledge and to gather information for our newsletter. Our association is concerned about the incident of learning disabilities among the homeless, juvenile delinquents, and pregnant teens.