National Board of Directors
Little People of America, Inc., is a national non-profit organization that provides support and information to people of short stature and their families. We are the only dwarfism support organization that includes all 200+ forms of dwarfism. There are an estimated 30,000 people with dwarfism in the United States, and 651,700 in the world. No other non-profit in the world provides more resources, support and information for people with dwarfism.
LPA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with dwarfism throughout their lives while celebrating with great pride Little People’s contribution to social diversity. LPA strives to bring solutions and global awareness to the prominent issues affecting individuals of short stature and their families.
Membership is normally offered to those people who are no taller than 4'10" in height, but is available to all who have an interest in dwarfism, including families, grandparents and relatives, and medical professionals. . Their short stature is generally caused by one of the more than 200 medical conditions known as dwarfism.
The organizational structure of LPA breaks down into 14 Districts, each of one or more surrounding states. Within these districts are chapters, which allows many close bonds between families and friends, as well as better information-sharing and education in our community.
Reasons to Join LPA and Membership Benefits
There are any number of reasons to consider joining LPA. Perhaps you are a little person, or the parent of a child who has been diagnosed with a dwarfing condition. Perhaps you have a friend, acquaintance, or family member who is a little person, of you're a professional who is involved with disability rights, accessibility products, medicine, academia, law, politics, journalism, media communication with an interest in District 1 or LPA national events. With 6,851 members nationally, the resources and benefits of membership are unlimited.
You can join by submitting a membership application to LPA. You can choose between joining as a lifetime member ($750) or a 3-year ($120) or annual ($55) member. If you're a LP or parent/family member of someone with dwarfism, the lifetime membership is an invaluable tool. Years of research, annual national events, access to the best doctors and research in the many forms of dwarfism and so much more make the lifetime membership the most cost-effective!
As a member of LPA living in New England, you can look forward to receiving notices about local Chapter activities and special events including pot lucks, picnics, holiday parties, parent meetings, and medical presentations, as well as an online newsletter, and community support. We have two regional events each year, a trip to Story Land, and countless gatherings at member homes and in different locations across the states. National and District events are great for making lifelong friendships between children and adults- of both average stature and LP. District One schedules our many events knowing how close our New England bonds can be. Our events give the opportunity for families, couples, children, couples and individuals to make connections, learn, share and create relationships.
But, being a member is not just local! As an LPA member, you will also receive the national newsletter - LPA Today, national member directory, and notices about the annual national LPA summer conference. The conference draws upwards of 1,800 members, including 200 international attendees from 18 different countries at the 2013 DC Conference! Each year the conference grows in numbers offering more workshops, social opportunities, dances, dinners, connections medical resources and an ever expanding EXPO with dwarfism-related products. National is held in a different city in the US each year, and occurs in late June or early July.
For parents who are members, you gain parent-to-parent and peer support from thousands of people who understand the variety of medical, educational, social, and psychological concerns experienced by people with dwarfism. According to the current birth rate of 4 million babies born each year in the US, we have 400 new babies each year with a type of dwarfism. We have knowledge and energy to share!
Our teens and pre-teen members are able to learn and play with peers their size. This includes engaging in sport competitions (DAAA), and having the ability to learn from and teach life lessons- different from average height peers- to each other. With the teen years being some of the hardest, having the support of one of the many LPA teen groups is important. These groups offer the insight of peers, giving teens the forum to share experiences and lend support on everyday life issues, as well as the harder topics that can arise during this time of life. District events are great for making lifelong friendships between children and adults! While national events offer the opportunity to meet the friends you will make online, and expand your community further. LPA chapter, district and national schedule many annual gathering, picnics and events that allow our children to meet others just like themselves. It's amazing how fast friendships are made. And the best part is the friendship continues long after the event is over.
Adult LP face other challenges, such as heading off to college or the workplace, facing new challenges that are unique to dwarfism. An individual with an LPA membership has, at their disposal, many tools to assist in everyday life, including the opportunity to apply for an educational scholarship. In the workplace, LPA has national advocates constantly working on legislation regarding genetic discrimination, patient healthcare rights, public access and community outreach.
The LPA is committed to providing access to the most current medical information available. Dedicated and experienced physicians from LPA’s Medical Advisory Board generously volunteer to assist members and their physicians with medical consultations, referrals and critical information. These physicians cover multi-specialized fields of practice, including genetics and orthopedic care.