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Science-based Policy

Members of the Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative (LDDI) are engaged in policy discussion and advocacy. Listed below are examples of advocacy steps taken by LDDI members on strategic action items.

LDAA Forum, January 2011. On January 24th, the Learning Disabilities Association of America, with support from the John Merck Fund, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Ceres Foundation, convened a forum to present the state-of-the-science on toxic chemicals and health as well as related policy updates and training. Nearly 60 people representing 38 different groups attended including those concerned with learning and developmental disabilities, various cancers, infertility and reproductive health, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, birth defects and respiratory illness. In addition, several leaders from health professional organizations, including the American Nurses Association, the American Medical Association and the National Medical Association, participated.

The meeting featured presentations by Dr. Ted Schettler, science director for the Science & Environmental Health Network and the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, describing environmental contributors to disease and disability; Dr. Sandra Steingraber, an ecologist and author of Living Downstream, Having Faith and the newly released Raising Elijah, discussed the human rights aspects of toxic chemical contamination; and Andy Igrejas, director of the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families campaign, who offered opportunities and strategies for reforming chemical policies to better protect public health.

LDDI members were instrumental in attracting key participants and coordinating this event, including Maureen Swanson of the Learning Disabilities Association of America, Joyce Martin with American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Donna Ferullo with the Autism Society of America, and Elise Miller and Erika Hagensen with Collaborative on Health and Environment.

State Policy Forum in Illinois, October 2009. The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) and many other LDDI partners worked hard on putting together a policy forum in Illinois on October 2nd, entitled "Public Health, Toxic Chemicals and Disabilities." The event was a great success with four policymakers attending and one speaking at the meeting. Part of the meeting was a panel on biomonitoring where personal stories from the LDDI biomonitoring project were shared. Learn more »

ChAMP letter to the EPA, June 2009. LDDI sent a letter to Peter Grevatt, PhD, the Environmental Protection Agency's senior advisor for children's health, outlining concerns with EPA's Chemical Assessment and Management Program (ChAMP) regarding children's risks and exposures. Read the letter »

LDDI Policy Training in Baltimore, January 2009. LDDI held a training for members on strategic policy initiatives, developing and delivering effective messages and preparing for action. Selected materials from the training are posted on the LDDI Events page.

Policy Consensus Statement, September 2008. LDDI published a statement outlining public policies to address impacts on learning and developmental disabilities by environmental agents, Policy Implications Based on the Scientific Consensus Statement on Environmental Agents Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders. The opportunity to sign this statement remains open. Sign the policy statement »

Letters against Bisphenol A (BPA), October 2007. Leaders in LDDI, along with Coming Clean colleagues, spearheaded letters about the health hazards of bisphenol A (BPA) that were sent to the president of Handi-Craft Company, the chief executive officer of Target Corporation and the president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Kid-Safe Chemical Act Letter to Senators Lautenberg and Waxman, July 2007. LDDI members signed a letter with unified recommendations for ways to strengthen and broaden support for the Kid-Safe Chemical Act of 2007.

National Children's Study Letter to a Congressional Subcommittee, April 2007. LDDI member organizations signed a letter to the members of the Congressional Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, Education & Related Agencies Appropriations. The letter urged committee members to appropriate funds for the National Children's Study. Read the letter »

Perchlorate Letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency and the National Academy of Sciences, April 2005. LDDI organizations sent a letter to US EPA Administrator Michael O. Leavitt and Richard B. Johnston Jr., MD, chair of the National Academy of Sciences, to express concern regarding exposures to perchlorate. Read the letter »

Chemical Testing Letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency, December 2004. LDDI organizations sent a letter to US EPA Administrator Michael O. Leavitt to continue to support and advance the testing of chemicals for their potential to injure the young, developing brain. Read the letter »

Lindane Letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency, September 2004. LDDI organizations sent a letter to US EPA Administrator Michael O. Leavitt to express concern about the continued reliance on the toxic pesticide lindane in agriculture and for pharmaceutical purposes. Read the letter »

Funding Letter to President Bush and Congress, January 2004. Some LDDI members signed a letter to President Bush and members of Congress about funding public health: It's Time to Make Public Health Funding a National Priority.

Mercury Letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency, December 2003. LDDI organizations sent a letter to US EPA Administrator Michael O. Leavitt to express disappointment with his recent decisions regarding control of mercury emissions. Read the letter »

LDDI Resolution, April 2003. LDDI created this resolution on toxic threats to child development, co-signed by member organizations, that describes what we currently know and don't know scientifically about neurotoxicants and what actions would be prudent to take now to increase our knowledge and protect people from toxic exposures. This statement has been replaced by the more current consensus statementsRead the LDDI Resolution »

 

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