Blog:  In the News

Understood Joins Founding Partner LDA to Mourn the Loss of Nancie Payne

In the News blog post by The Understood Team
Jan 11, 2016

Portrait of Nancie Payne

We join founding partner Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) to mourn the passing of Nancie Payne. She was the president of LDA.

Payne died on December 27, 2015, after a fight with cancer. She had devoted her life to helping people with learning and attention issues.

Payne knew these challenges firsthand. As a child, she struggled with learning. She went to four different high schools and spent several months in a youth center. She wasn’t diagnosed with learning disabilities and ADHD until her late twenties.

Payne went on to college and excelled. She earned a master’s degree from Chapman University. She also got a Ph.D. in Postsecondary Adult Learning from Capella University. Her experiences helped shape her belief that “everyone can learn.”

Although she held the role of president of LDA at the time of her passing, Payne was involved with LDA at many levels for more than 30 years. She was also an activist in the field in other ways.

“Nancie was a towering leader for LDA as well as for all adults with learning issues,” said Mark Griffin, founding headmaster of the Eagle Hill School. “She was a tireless advocate for job training, coaching and placement. Her worked touched so many lives.”

In 1988, she founded Payne & Associates. The firm provides services for adults with learning issues. Through the years, Payne created several innovative job training programs. She was able to convince companies, big and small, that hiring adults with learning and attention issues was good for their culture and bottom line.

Payne was also a nationally recognized speaker. She wrote widely about adult education and workplace issues.

“Nancie was one of the most dedicated volunteers I have ever had the privilege to work with,” said Mary-Clare Reynolds, executive director of LDA. “She never took on a project without being committed to it 100 percent. She was compassionate and caring of others to the very end.”

“We’ve lost an icon in our field,” said Griffin. “And a true friend.”

About the Blogger

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The Understood Team is composed of writers, editors and community moderators, many of whom have children with learning and attention issues.

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