Since 2001, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)
has shaped policies and developed resources and tools to strengthen the implementation of Response to Intervention. We believe that early recognition of learning and attention issues, combined with timely, effective provision of supports to address such problems, is a mission-critical component of any successful education program.

To advance the use of RTI in the SLD identification process, NCLD engaged and worked in partnership with three other organizations that are important stakeholders in this work: the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE), the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Together we convened a diverse group of experts for a Roundtable conference to address the need for clarification about best practice in an RTI based SLD Identification process.
The discussions and recommendations developed during the Roundtable conference have guided NCLD as we developed this RTI-Based Specific Learning Disability Identification Toolkit. Its purpose is to provide educators, policymakers and researchers with a detailed resource that summarizes what the law requires to determine whether a child has a learning disability using an RTI-based approach to SLD determination.
This Toolkit provides a clear vision of best practice related to an RTI-based SLD Identification process. And we expect it to do more: with this vision, school systems can develop structures to ensure that the identification process for specific learning disabilities facilitates decision making about instructional decisions to improve outcomes for students.
This work would not have been possible without our partners, the participants in the Roundtable conference, our editorial advisors, and the Toolkit team. On behalf of NCLD, I’d like to recognize and thank the following:
To our partners, thank you for your deep commitment to the development and widespread distribution and use of the toolkit:
To our lead writers, thank you for your expertise and passion for this project:
    • Candace Cortiella: Director, The Advocacy Institute
    • Sue Gamm: Independent Consultant
    • Claudia Rinaldi: Chair, Education Department, Lasell College
    • Steve Goodman: Director, Michigan’s Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative (MiBLSi)

To Elaine Niefeld, NCLD's former Associate Director of School Transformation, thank you for your expert and meticulous management of the development of the toolkit.
To Steve Kukic, NCLD's Director of School Transformation, NCLD, thank you for your facilitation and overall leadership of this project.

Roundtable Participants


John Allison
George Batsche,
Candace Cortiella
Deborah Dixon
Judy Elliott
Bette Erickson
Jack Fletcher
Doug Fuchs
Sue Gamm
Steve Goodman
Mark Griffin
Neil Guthrie
Richard Henderson
Evelyn Johnson
Laura Kaloi
Mary Beth Klotz
Joseph Kovaleski
Stevan Kukic
Erica Lembke
Robert Lichtenstein
Eboney Lofton
Shelly London
Margaret McLaughlin
Myrna Mandlawitz
Samuel Ortiz
Stacy Parker-Fisher
Dan Reschly
Colleen Riley
Claudia Rinaldi
Tracy Sawicki
Shruti Sehra
Edward Shapiro
Larry Tihen
Laurie VanderPloeg
Phyllis Wolfram

Editorial Advisors


George Batsche
Rachel Brown
Don Deshler
Judy Elliott
Jack Fletcher
Mark Griffin
Laura Hauerwas
Richard Henderson
Evelyn Johnson
Mary Beth Klotz
Joseph Kovaleski
Robert Lichtenstein
Margaret McLaughlin
Samuel Ortiz
Amy Scott
Edward Shapiro
Laurie VanderPloeg
Phyllis Wolfram

Toolkit Development Team

Contributors: Rachel Brown, Laura Hauerwas, Samuel Ortiz, Amy Scott and Deborah Telfer
Designer: Fil Vocasek
Editor: Michael Cannon
Web development: Deborah Gorski



James H. Wendorf, Executive Director
National Center for Learning Disabilities

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