The LDRC Consortium was established in 1989 as a primary means for developing knowledge on the causes, origins, and developmental course of learning disabilities. Projects studied by the consortium address learning disabilities that affect reading, writing, and mathematics and include a focus on individuals from underrepresented groups and those with co-occurring conditions that may impact their learning.
Studies conducted by the consortium generated a critical part of the research cited in the Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read. Consortium research also provided key data that was used in the Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Public Law 108-446) in 2004, which allowed states to consider alternative approaches in the classification of learning disabilities.
The consortium is supported by NICHD’s Child Development and Behavior Branch (CDBB) and is complemented by the Learning Disabilities Innovation Hub initiative. The consortium presently includes three research centers that involve numerous research sites and a large cohort of investigators with expertise in diverse topics related to learning disabilities. Funding for the centers is through a Specialized Research Center Grant award mechanism (P50) that allows for highly synergistic group efforts to tackle thematic research topics and create career-enhancing, mentored opportunities for the next generation of learning disabilities scholars.
LDRC Consortium research includes basic and translational studies to elucidate the cognitive, linguistic, neurobiological, and genetic mechanisms of reading, writing, and mathematics.
Research investigations include:
- Identifying the genetic and neurobiological contributions and response-to-intervention characteristics of children, adolescents, and adults with learning disabilities
- Developing and validating classification and risk assessment approaches for learning disabilities that impact reading, writing, and mathematics
- Developing and refining comprehensive models of learning disabilities to inform screening and treatment
- Investigating the nature of individual differences in response to instruction for diverse learners