Spotlight on Dyslexia Conference

2016 Speakers

Dean Bragonier

NoticeAbility, Inc, Founder & Executive Dyslexic

Dean Bragonier is the Founder and Executive Dyslexic of NoticeAbility Inc, a nonprofit organization that designs and delivers proprietary curricula to students with dyslexia. Grounded in social-emotional learning, executive function methodology and project management techniques, NoticeAbility offers authentic inquiry experiences in vocational subjects that cater to the neurological strengths of the dyslexic mind: entrepreneurship, engineering, architecture and narrative storytelling (film, literature and stage).

Shaped by the challenges associated with his dyslexia and after struggling through the traditional secondary education system, Dean became a diligent and successful college student who developed a true love of learning at Bates College. Upon graduation, Dean embraced his entrepreneurial instincts and acquired a small seasonal restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard Island that he transformed into a successful full-scale enterprise. It was through this endeavor that he was able to contextualize his years of laborious academic learning and discover the true gifts of his dyslexic mind. As a social entrepreneur, Dean has founded his own nonprofit organizations and served as board member and advisor to a number of others.

NoticeAbility is the culmination of Dean’s passion for education and his conviction that the advantages of dyslexia far outweigh its associated challenges.

Sally Taylor

Consenses, Founder, Dyslexic

Sally Taylor is a musician and the founder of Consenses, a global, multidisciplinary, artistic collaboration engaging 150 artists from around the world who anonymously interpret each other's art and use it as a catalyst for their own artistic expression.

Born and raised in New York City, Sally was diagnosed as dyslexic at age 10 and spent her early years, guided by her mother Carly Simon, learning how to communicate and decode the world using art as a language. She taught herself how to play guitar and write music and in 1998 she formed her own record company and produced and recorded three albums (Tomboy Bride, Apt #6S & Shotgun). She and a 5-piece band toured 270 days of the year between 1998-2003. Retiring from the road at 30 she moved to Boston with her husband, Dean Bragonier, and began teaching at Berklee College of Music.

In 2012, Sally founded Consenses with the mission of promoting tolerance, empathy, creativity and peace by providing art as a language and a lens through which to see ourselves, each other and our world more compassionately and expansively. In this effort she is dedicated to enlarging the scope of artistic collaboration, the recognition of art as a journey and a conversation, and the collective exploration of the individuated human experience.

Louisa Moats, Ed.D.

Educator, Psychologist, Researcher

Louisa Moats, Ed.D. is a renowned teacher, psychologist, researcher, and author of many influential scientific journal articles, books, and policy papers on reading, spelling, language and teacher preparation. She was a contributing writer of the Common Core State Standards for grades K-5, and has testified to Congress several times on issues of teacher preparation and reading instruction in public schools.

Dr. Moats’ books include Speech to Print: Language Essentials forTeachers (Brookes Publishing); Spelling: Development, Disability, and Instruction (Pro-Ed); Straight Talk About Reading (with Susan Hall, Contemporary Books), and Basic Facts about Dyslexia.

Elsa Cardenas-Hagan

Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist
Certified Academic Language Therapist

Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan holds a doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She is the President of Valley Speech Language and Learning Center in Brownsville, Texas and is an Associate Research Professor for the Texas Institute for Measurement Evaluation and Statistics at the University of Houston. Dr. Cárdenas-Hagan’s research interests include the development of early reading assessments for Spanish-speaking students in addition to the development of reading interventions for bilingual students. She was the co-principal investigator of a longitudinal study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Institute for Education Science, examining the oracy and literacy development in English and Spanish of Spanish-speaking children. Dr. Cárdenas-Hagan currently serves as the Vice Chairperson of the International Dyslexia Association, Chairperson of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities and was a past board member of the National Academic Language Therapy Association. She has authored curricular programs, book chapters, and journal articles related to oracy and literacy development for English language learners.


Dr. Roberto Olivardia

Clinical Instructor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and Clinical Associate at McLean Hospital

Dr. Roberto Olivardia is a Clinical Instructor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and a Clinical Associate at McLean Hospital. He maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he specializes in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), executive functioning issues, and issues that face students with learning differences. He also specializes in the treatment of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and in the treatment of eating disorders in boys and men. He is co-author of The Adonis Complex, a book which details the various manifestations of body image problems in men. He has spoken on numerous radio and webinar shows and presents at many talks and conferences around the country. He currently sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for ADDitude and serves on the Professional Advisory Boards for CHADD, Attention Deficit Disorder Association and the National Association for Males with Eating Disorders.


Theresa Collins

Fellow in the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators

Theresa Collins is currently the Tutorial Director at Eagle Hill School - Southport. She has been an Orton-Gillingham practitioner for 30 years and previously served as the Director of Language Training at The Kildonan School. In addition to providing remedial language skills instruction to children in grades 6 through 12, she trains and mentors teachers in the fundamental content and implementation of the Orton-Gillingham approach. She has presented at various conferences, including the Annual Conference of the International Dyslexia Association, the New York and New Jersey branches of the IDA, the annual conference of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, and the annual conference of the Assistive Technology Industry Association.

Sharon Plante

Special Education Teacher and Director of Technology at Eagle Hill-Southport

Sharon Plante, an educator with 20 years teaching experience in special education, has been an educator at Eagle Hill-Southport for over twelve years, as well as currently serving as Director of Technology. Additionally, she is Orton-Gillingham Classroom Educator Certified. Sharon utilizes her educational training and love of technology to engage students with learning disabilities in building their skills and finding success. Sharon is the co-author of Using Technology to Engage Students with Learning Disabilities. She was awarded the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award from George Mason University College of Education and Human Development. She has presented at Everyone Reading, EdRev, Edscape, ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association), and New York Chapter of ALTA (Academic Language Trainers Association), as well as at several EdCamps,on using technology to empower the dyslexic learner. Sharon is the 2015-2017 chair of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools Commission on Technology. Additionally, she hosts a podcast for Bam Radio Network on Learning Differently bringing together the voices of those working in the many aspects of special education

Tara A. Clancy, M.A.

Private Practices, Nurturing Literacy

Tara A. Clancy, M.A., has been working with struggling readers for over twenty years. After experiencing her first struggle as a reader—in college while studying Japanese—she felt tremendous empathy for the dyslexic students she was working with as part of her college course work. And she wanted to make a difference.

She went on to study at Teachers College, Columbia University and earned a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology, specializing in Remedial Reading.

For more than two decades, she has worked with thousands of students and hundreds of teachers, both in the classroom and as Literacy Coordinator. In her private practice, she supports children and their families by providing comprehensive literacy evaluations and IEP support. She strives each and every day to help kids who struggle as readers—and help families “get back to happy.” You can find more information about her at

Jeanne Jeup

Co-Founder and Supervisor of Instruction at the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education

Jeanne Jeup is the Co-Founder and Supervisor of Instruction at the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education (IMSE). Mrs. Jeup, along with Bronwyn Hain founded the Institute in 1995 using a modified and expanded Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching reading. Their vision was to be able to reach out to general education teachers, grades K-3, to give them a tool to teach reading with a direct, multi-sensory approach. The goal is to decrease the number of referrals to special education. The approach is also widely used by intervention specialists, reading coaches, parents, ELL tutors, and anyone else who wants an effective tool to teach individuals how to read.

Helen Brandon

Institute for Multi-Sensory Education

Helen Brandon came to the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education (IMSE) after more than twenty years of teaching experience. She was a primary educator for ten years in first, second and third grades at Vandenberg Elementary School in the South Redford School District. For 13 years, she owned and operated her own private tutoring business. During her elementary teaching career, she was trained by IMSE in the Orton-Gillingham approach. She has used the Orton-Gillingham methodology with her tutoring students with great success and has also used many of the Orton-Gillingham techniques within a classroom setting. Since coming to IMSE, Helen has trained several teachers and professionals around the country in the expanded Orton-Gillingham approach. When not on the road training, Helen is part of the support staff at IMSE. She works closely with practicum applicants in using IMSE’s training programs with fidelity, which in turn, has shown to promote successful readers and writers. Outside of professional interests, she enjoys reading, writing and spending time with her husband and three daughters in South Lyon, Michigan.

Mark Surabian

Assistive Technology Consultant at

Mark Surabian has utilized assistive and instructional technologies to directly serve the educational and vocational needs of thousands of individuals with disabilities for over 29 years, across five states, in both private and public school systems, in residential and work facilities, and within home-based learning programs. He developed and presently operates, a free assistive technology support program at the JCC in Manhattan (and accompanying website), where he has served the needs of over 2500 children and adults with learning, communication, vision, and physical challenges. He has now begun offering free professional trainings at the JCC for local schools, agencies, and parent groups as well. As an Assistive Technology Consultant he has provided services to NYC DOE, NYS AMacces-VR, and to well over 50 school systems across the Tri-State area to address the curriculum, UDL, and participation needs of students, and further provide training/support for educators

He is an instructor for Pace University’s Graduate School of Education, a frequent lecturer on AT at local colleges (Bankstreet College, Columbia University Teachers College, NYU, etc.), and has conducted trainings for NYC educators through The Everyone Reading Assn., The NYC Special Education Collaborative, and The Teachers College Inclusive Classrooms Project. He has collaborated on numerous research projects and publications on the use of AT for learning, communication, and accessibility. He is currently working on a dissertation examining educator perceptions on the value of Cloud-based AT for students with learning challenges. His free resources may be found at and appointments may be made by contacting him at

William N. Presutti

Director of the Regional Center for Learning Disabilities at Fairleigh Dickinson University

William N. Presutti is the Director of the Regional Center for Learning Disabilities on the Florham Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University and an Adjunct Instructor in the Learning Disabilities Program. Bill has extensive experience working with students with learning disabilities in New Jersey as a former School Superintendent, Principal, Director of Special Services and teacher. He served six years as Superintendent of the Union County Educational Services Commission, a countywide educational agency serving students with special needs as well as 13 years as Superintendent in two local districts. Bill holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Scranton and an M.S. in Special Education from Central Connecticut State University.

Julie Meek

Licensed Certified Social Worker

Julie Meek, LCSW, received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Boise State University. She provides individual and group counseling for clients with learning disabilities, AD/HD, and ASD at Lee Pesky Learning Center (LPLC). Julie also provides field instruction for undergraduate and graduate social work students. Her expertise in movement and learning resulted in incorporating movement therapies at LPLC. She has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on her work at LPLC.

Nichole Pugliese

Coordinator of Educational Outreach and Teacher Development at AIM Institute

Nichole Pugliese is the Coordinator of Educational Outreach and Teacher Development at AIM. She holds her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Saint Joseph’s University and was a member of the first cohort of the Teacher-Scholar program through Saint Joseph’s University and AIM Academy. This Master’s of Special Education is one of nine in the country that has been distinguished by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) for meeting the standards outlined in their Knowledge and Practice Standards. Nichole is the current AIM/Teacher-Scholar liaison. In addition to being a certified trainer for Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) for Modules 1-6, Nichole is certified in the Wilson Reading System®, has been trained in RAVE-O and participated in the pilot of RAVE-O Plus! She holds certifications in Elementary and Special Education.

Sarah Zelenak, BA, MS, CCC-SLP

Certified Academic Language Practitioner (CALP),
Certified at Teaching Level in an IMSLEC and IDA accredited program,
B.S. Elementary Education and B.A. English and Classical Civilizations

Sarah Zelenak is an instructor at Reading and Language Arts Centers (RLAC), where she is certified at the teaching level in an IDA and IMSELC accredited program. At RLAC, her main focus is training teachers to address the needs of struggling readers in their classroom. She is also a certified teacher and spent time as an interventionist. Sarah is a Certified Academic Language Practitioner (CALP) through the Academic Language Therapy Association. She received her BA in English and Classical Civilizations from the University of Michigan, and then a BS in Elementary Education from Oakland University.

Sarah is a Certified Academic Language Practitioner (CALP) through the Academic Language Therapy Association. She received her BA in English and Classical Civilizations from the University of Michigan, and then a BS in Elementary Education from Oakland University.

Nancy Youree Duggin

National Board Certified Teacher

Nancy Youree Duggin is Tennessee’s first teacher to achieve National Board Certification (NBC) by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Nancy taught for twenty-four years and holds a Bachelor of Science, Elementary Education; Master’s of Education, Early Childhood; Education Specialist, Administration and Supervision; and a second Education Specialist, Curriculum and Instruction.She is a certified reading specialist and earned the Graduate Certificate in Dyslexic Studies from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). Nancy is a certified LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) trainer and has received extensive Wilson Reading Systems’ training in addition to Orton-Gillingham instructional practices. She has worked in the area of school improvement, teacher evaluation, and parental engagement. Nancy is a free-lance writer, writing concerning parenting and educational issues.

She has recently completed a two-year “ELA Best Practice” project with TDOE/NPT/PBS for grades K-5 (2012-14).

Named a distinguished alumnus of MTSU in 2005 and honored for her pursuit of excellence in education by her induction into the Tennessee Teacher Hall of Fame in 2007. To further her understanding of educational issues and the inner workings of public schools, she served as an elected member of the Murfreesboro City School Board.

Dr. Vaughn K. Lauer

Author and Advocate

Dr. Vaughn K. Lauer has thirty years of experience, Pre-K through post-secondary, as a teacher, professor, and building, district and state DOE administrator of special education and has held various private organization directorships in professional development and test development. His latest work includes a book on collaborative IEP development called When the School Says No…How to Get the Yes! along with parent and educator presentations at local, regional, state, national and international conferences, web presentations, online trainings and articles published in parent magazines and on the web.

Lynn Givens

Educator with over 35 Years Experience

Lynn Givens has been a teacher of struggling readers and a teacher educator for over 35 years. She previously served as Director of Intervention at the Florida Center for Reading Research where she was involved in providing intervention training and professional development for teachers throughout Florida. She currently teaches undergraduate reading and English/language arts courses at Florida State University’s School of Teacher Education and acting as instructor/facilitator for online teacher endorsement courses in reading. Trained in the Orton-Gillingham method, She spent eight years at the Schenck School in Atlanta, which provided her with a firm foundation in teaching dyslexic students and other struggling readers. Her goal has always been to provide high-quality, explicit instruction to close the gaps for students who are having reading difficulties and to instruct teachers on how to do this as well.

To assist in this effort, she has published several unique instructional materials: the Connect to Comprehension reading intervention program and Phonics Games for Fluency. ( The Connect to Comprehension program is now being used as the primary resource in the practicum for struggling readers at FSU and in elementary schools throughout the United States.

Michael Hart, Ph.D

Child Psychologist

Michael Hart, Ph.D. is a child psychologist with 25 years of experience in teacher training, clinical psychology and the diagnostic assessment of a full range of learning differences, including dyslexia. He is the founder/owner of and is currently providing webinars, online courses and onsite presentations/training regarding the proper educational care of our dyslexic students.

Most recently, Dr. Hart gave the keynote address for the UNESCO/MGIEP Learning Differences workshop in New Delhi, India.

Michael enjoys mentoring other professionals and is intensely focused on supporting teachers, specialists and parents as they become better informed and more experienced in the effective treatment of our students who learn differently.

Jules Csillag

Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist

Jules Csillag is a licensed speech-language pathologist, learning specialist, and a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD), who has worked in a variety of settings throughout New York City, including independent schools, public schools, clinics, and in private practice. Her research experiences include working at a child language development laboratory at McGill University and the Neurocognition of Language Laboratory at Teachers College, Columbia University. While in graduate school, Jules received the prestigious Students Preparing for Academic and Research Careers (SPARC) award. She stays research-driven by attending and presenting at national and international conferences. Most recently, she presented at the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) of America conference, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, the Everyone Reading conference, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Schools Conference. She has been an Expert Contributor on the education site, and is now an Expert on the site. Jules is passionate about technology and differentiation, and those two passions often go hand in hand. Her mission is to increase access to evidence-based education for all types of learners, including parents and educators. She is the author of Differentiated Reading Instruction: Strategies and Technology Tools to Help All Students Improve (Routledge, 2016).

Sharon W. Fleischer, MA, LDT/C

Director - LD Virtual Tutoring, FDU Regional Center for Learning Disabilities

Sharon Fleischer has been a professional educator for over thirty-five years. She is a Learning Specialist at the FDU Regional Center specializing in developmental English, the writing process, and multi-sensory instruction in writing workshop. She also serves as a diagnostic evaluator, and is an Adjunct Instructor teaching Metacognitive Strategies I and II to college students with learning disabilities. Presently, Sharon is the Director of the LD Virtual Tutoring Program supporting college students with learning disabilities on a real time, face to face, one to one platform.. Sharon holds a B.S. in Education from Ohio University and an M.A. in Special Education and a Learning Disability Teacher Certificate from FDU.

Barbara Steinberg, M. Ed.

Dyslexia & Educational Consultant

Barbara Steinberg has been educating, mentoring and inspiring students for over 15 years, first as a classroom teacher and now as a dyslexia and literacy consultant. She is the founder of PDX Reading Specialist, an organization whose mission is to inspire individuals to become CONFIDENT and CAPABLE learners. Barbara is passionate about educating and supporting those who work with struggling learners, and when not working with students herself, shares her wealth of knowledge and years of experience with parents, fellow educators and students themselves.

Barbara is an ongoing presenter for many school districts throughout Oregon, including Portland Public Schools and Salem-Keizer School District. She is an ongoing presenter for Decoding Dyslexia Oregon, The Oregon Library Association, Multnomah county Libraries, Oregon’s Educational Service Districts, Learning Ally and numerous private schools throughout Oregon.

Fredricka Reisman, Ph.D.

Professor and Founder of Drexel's School of Education

Fredricka Reisman, Ph.D., is Professor and founder of Drexel's School of Education, Director Drexel/Torrance Center for Creativity and Innovation, and President of the American Creativity Association. Prior to coming to Philadelphia, Dr. Reisman served as Professor and Chair of the Division of Elementary Education at the University of Georgia and as an elementary, middle school, high school mathematics teacher in New York State, and mathematics education instructor at Syracuse University. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology, an M.S. in Elementary Education, and Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Syracuse University. At Georgia, she worked closely with the head of the learning disabilities program, collaborating in assessing youngsters with dyslexia and dyscalculia and implementing creative pedagogies that circumvented their weaknesses and facilitated strengths in collaboration with the youngsters’ teachers and parents.

Dr. Reisman has presented nationally and abroad and has served in leadership roles in international conferences on learning disabilities including dyscalculia. She authored several books that include diagnostic teaching and teaching mathematics to children with special needs. She co-authored a trilogy of books with world-renowned advocate for the talented and gifted and creativity scholar and researcher, E. Paul Torrance, on teaching mathematics creatively. She completed a nationally standardized Grades 1 and 2 Diagnostic Mathematics Assessment that incorporates a focus on dyscalculia and creativity (2010), and is President of the American Creativity Association with international membership. Her passion is equipping teachers with sensitivity and understanding for students’ creative and learning strengths – as opposed to a deficit focus.

Lori Severino, Ed.D.

Assistant Clinical Professor in Drexel University's School of Education

Lori Severino, EdD, is Assistant Clinical Professor in Drexel University's School of Education. Prior to working at Drexel University, Dr. Severino taught in public education in the field of special education for 26 years specializing in working with students with reading disabilities, specifically dyslexia. Dr. Severino is a certified Wilson Language Trainer. She is a national and international invited speaker and professional development provider for teachers on topics such as reading and writing instruction for struggling students, differentiated instruction, dyslexia and working with students with emotional behavior disorders. Dr. Severino was recently funded to work with other School of Education and Biomedical Engineering faculty to create a reading comprehension app for adolescents which uses fNIR technology to ensure the questions to the reading passages are text-based, an important factor with the new Common Core Standards.

Larry Keiser

Executive Director of Special Projects, Communications and Administration at Drexel University's School of Education

Larry Keiser is the Executive Director of Special Projects, Communications & Administration for Drexel University's School of Education, as well as Drexel’s Teacher Certification Officer. He has worked within the School for 32 years in various positions, but primarily with faculty on new program development, grant proposals and funded projects, and partnerships with Philadelphia organizations and schools to implement programming for the alternative preparation of K-12, STEM teachers; enhance pre-service and in-service teachers' and elementary/secondary students' mathematics and science content knowledge; better incorporate appropriate technology into the teaching and learning process; and promote creativity and innovation in schools, the workplace and in life. Relatedly, Larry presents nationally and internationally on the need to infuse creativity and innovation into K-16 education. He serves as adjunct instructor in the School's Creativity and Innovation Program for courses on the Foundations of Creativity, Tools and Techniques in Creativity and Creativity in the Workplace.

Steven Korner, Ph.D.

Private Practice, Cresskill, NJ;
Harrington Park Child Study Team

Steven Korner earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and has held the following positions: director of the child and family outpatient unit, Rush Center in Philadelphia; director of psychology/assistant professor of psychiatry, New York Medical College-Metropolitan Hospital, associate professor (tenured) in child clinical psychology and director of the school psychology program, Seton Hall University. He has presented or published over 50 papers and was editorial consultant for the journal, Private Practice in Psychotherapy. Dr. Korner has a private practice in Cresskill, NJ with specializations in psycho-educational and neuropsychological evaluation and child/adolescent therapy.

Robert Hendron, D.O.

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

Robert L. Hendren, D.O., is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science; Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Co-Director of the UCSF Dyslexia Center; and Director, Neurodevelopmental, Translational Outcomes Research Program (NTORP). He works in the STAR Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Program. Dr. Hendren is Past President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2007-2009). He has published over 100 scientific papers and 5 books and has been listed in “The Best Doctors in America”, each year since it was first published in 1996.

Dr. Hendren took his residency in general psychiatry at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, and his child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center. He is board certified in General as well as Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He has been on the faculty at the George Washington University School of Medicine, the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutger’s) - Robert Wood Johnson and New Jersey Medical Schools. From 2001-2009, he was Professor of Psychiatry and Executive Director and Tsakopoulos-Vismara Chair at the University of California, Davis M.I.N.D. Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders).

His current areas of research and publication interests are translational interventional outcomes research including clinical pharmacology, nutraceutical and nutritional trials using biomarkers (MRI, measures of inflammation, oxidative stress, immune function and pharmacogenomics) to enhance resilience in neurodevelopmental disorders. He is currently applying a targeted outcomes research approach in a collaborative projects with the Oak Hill School for youth with severe autism and neurodevelopmental spectrum disorders in San Anselmo, CA and at the Charles Armstrong School for youth with dyslexia in Belmont, CA.

Barbara A. Wilson, M.Ed

Founder and Co-President of Wilson Language Training

Barbara Wilson is the co-founder and president of Wilson Language Training, which provides materials and professional learning throughout the country. She has worked to improve the lives of individuals with dyslexia for over 30 years. In 1988, Barbara authored the Wilson Reading System® based on reading research and work at Massachusetts General Hospital Reading Disabilities Clinic where she taught adults with dyslexia. Barbara developed and oversees graduate courses and clinical practicums which lead to Wilson® certification which is an accredited International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Tier 3 training program. More than 25,000 teachers hold this certification in the U.S. This certification is also an integral component for several university programs that are accredited by the IDA. Barbara has authored two other multisensory structured language programs: Fundations® for K-3 students, and Just Words® for students in grades 4-12 and adults.

Barbara provides professional expertise for several organizations and efforts dedicated to reading and dyslexia. She was invited to the White House to speak to the President’s Domestic Policy Adviser on Education regarding the issue of literacy in America’s middle and high schools and in 2015, she testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in support of H.R. 3033, the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia (READ) Act which was later signed into law. Barbara has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from two Massachusetts institutions: Becker College and Fitchburg State University

Richard M. Long

Executive Director of Learning First Alliance

Richard Long, Executive Director of Learning First Alliance, draws on his decades of experiance working on education policy in Washington, D.C., to offer his insights and predictions for what course education policy will take in the next Congress.