Learning Difficulties Australia


LDA Statements and Positions

LDA advocates on behalf of LDA members and all those with learning difficulties, at various levels, on issues arising in the education of students with learning difficulties. We invite your response to these issues and submissions: please email enquiries@ldaustralia.org.

Click headings to read the complete submission.

Click here to Productivity Commission Report National Education Evidence Base, and a research article on High Performing Primary Schools: what do they have in Common?

LDA Position Statement - Approaches to Reading Instruction

LDA Supports approaches to reading instruction that adopt an explicit structured approach to the teaching of reading and are consistent with the scientific evidence as to how children learn to read and how best to teach them.
Click here to read LDA's Position Statement as published in the LDA Bulletin.
Click here for an extended version of LDA's Position Statement with substantiating references.

Interventions to Remediate Learning Disorders

Efficacy research review of current LD brain changing interventions by Auckland University’s Centre for Brain Research and School of Psychology, provides an objective overview of a number of popular brain-training interventions.
Click here to read this 2015 report.



LDA Submission to Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group: 18 June 2014

This submission therefore addresses the question raised in the Issues Paper concerning the identification of the teaching practices that produce the best student outcomes, with a specific focus on the earliest stages of learning to read: how to identify the most efficient way of teaching, how to reflect on evidence, and the way in which content knowledge interacts with teaching practices in the area of teaching early reading.

LDA Submissions to the Review of the National Curriculum: 28 February 2014

LDA’s submission was to the Review of the National Curriculum, to be undertaken by Professor Ken Wiltshire and Dr Kevin Donnelly drew attention to flaws in the section of the curriculum relating to the teaching of beginning reading, and also noted the need to address the issue of teacher training. The submission argued that for effective implementation of the curriculum, it is necessary to have teachers who have a good understanding of the processes involved in learning to read and the research evidence relating to effective and ineffective approaches to the teaching of reading.

LDA Submissions to Senate Speech and Language Inquiry: 21 February 2014

LDA’s submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs on their Inquiry into the prevalence of different types of speech, language and communication disorders and speech pathology services in Australia noted the overlap between the work of speech pathologists, whose major area of interest is oral language, and specialist teachers, who provide support for students with reading difficulties.  The role of speech pathologists in the early identification of children with language problems which could lead to interventions which might prevent or ameliorate subsequent reading problems was noted, and the LDA submission put the view that more routine collaboration between speech pathologists and educators could improve literacy outcomes for all students.

LDA Submission to the Productivity Commission Study of the Education and Training Workforce: Schools, 17 February 2012 

In so far as LDA is an organisation supporting effective evidence-based instruction, particularly for students who are experiencing difficulties in learning, our concern is with the following focus points of the Schools Workforce Study:

  • whether the knowledge and skills base of the workforce, and its deployment within and across schools and regions, are appropriate to meet the community's needs
  • whether policy, governance and regulatory arrangements (in place or in prospect) are conducive to maximising the efficiency and effectiveness of the schools workforce and, if not, what changes may be required.


LDA Submission to the Review of Funding for Schooling (the Gonski Review), submitted 30 September 2011

In line with current developments in the United States and the United Kingdom, LDA would like to propose that Australia adopts a model of funding for students with learning difficulties and special needs based on the Response to Intervention model. This model is based on a three tiered model which requires:

  • all students receive First Wave evidence-based, data-driven effective instruction
  • students who make progress at a rate slower than their peers are immediately identified and receive Second Wave more intensive, small group, evidence-based instruction
  • any student who continues to make slow progress then receives Third Wave intensive evidence-based effective instruction from a highly competent teacher.

LDA Submission to the Review of the Commonwealth Disability Standards for Education, submitted 21 April 2011 

The comments are based on our concern that the current definition of ‘disability’ does not include the category of ‘learning disability’. As a result, many students with severe and ongoing learning problems are not eligible for any form of support or funding to address their learning needs.  Although we are cognizant of the problems of definition and identification in the case of this group of students, we propose that the recognition of ‘learning disability’ be based on the Response to Intervention (RTI) model, which has been widely adopted in the United States and the United Kingdom.

LDA Collaboration on Helping people with dyslexia: a national action agenda, submitted January 2010 to the Hon Bill Shorten, then Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services.
While LDA acknowledges there are advantages as well as disadvantages that continue to be argued in relation to some of the recommendations in this submission, the content of this report remains of historical and current relevance.
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