2018 IDA Annual Reading, Literacy & Learning Conference
Pre-Conference Symposia

Six compelling symposia will challenge and inspire pre-conference attendees. Below you will find descriptions of the six exceptional offerings this year. Click on the each of the titles for a detailed overview of what to expect during each symposium. 

PC1 Assistive Technology in Education: A New Day for Students With Dyslexia

Co-Chairs: Jamie Martin and Jennifer Topple, M.S., CCC-SLP

Assistive technology is transformative in the lives of students with dyslexia. It gives them equal access to education; but perhaps more importantly, it contributes to greater independence and higher self-esteem. This comprehensive full-day symposium explores key aspects of assistive technology for dyslexia, including the selection of specific tools that help with reading and writing, ways that schools can support those tools, and the importance of student voice in their implementation.

PC2 Dyslexia Testing for Teaching and Beyond: Identification of Dyslexia K–12, College, University, and Workplace

Chair: Susan C. Lowell, M.A., BCET 

National data shows literacy problems are prevalent despite decades of research on effective literacy instruction for all readers and the importance of early identification and treatment of literacy problems. This symposium discusses dyslexia testing in public schools using a component-based approach, citing the definition of dyslexia, federal law and OSERS guidance about SLD including dyslexia, and learning disorders described in DSM-5 and ICD-10. Topics include assessment, comorbidity, remediation, and accommodation in schools, college, university, and the workplace.

PC3 Vocabulary, Sentence, and Micro-Discourse Strategies for Writing

Co-Chairs: Charles Haynes, Ph.D. and Leslie Laud, Ed.D.

Students with dyslexia and related language-learning difficulties often struggle to express themselves in writing. Sentences are meaning bearers of language, and research indicates that systematic sentence instruction improves the quantity and quality of children’s text-level writing. This interactive workshop provides an overview of structured, theme-centered strategies for developing sentence-level writing in ways that will then enable students to produce compelling and elaborated text-level writing, with richer sentences at the base of their writing.

PC4 Certification With the Center for Effective Reading Instruction: Advancing Excellence in Educator Preparation and Effectiveness

Chair: Louise Spear-Swerling, Ph.D.

This symposium will present an overview of CERI's newly refined certification structures, requirements, and application/renewal processes.

PC5 Pathways to Program Accreditation With the International Dyslexia Association

Chair: Jule McCombes-Tolis, Ph.D.

This symposium will introduce IDA's newly refined Program Accreditation process and will include an overview of available resources designed to support interested institutions of higher education and independent educator preparation programs in completing the application and renewal application processes.

This symposium introduces IDA's newly refined program accreditation process and includes an overview of the available resources designed to support interested Institutions of higher education and independent educator preparation programs in completing the application and renewal application processes.

  PC6 Building Knowledge: The Missing Ingredient in Comprehension and Literacy

Chair: Natalie Wexler

Decades of research have shown that background knowledge is the most important factor in reading comprehension. Similarly, writing ability is inextricably linked to knowledge of the topic at hand. Yet, our elementary system has long failed to build children’s knowledge from the earliest grade levels, treating literacy as a set of transferable skills. To ensure that all children reach their full potential, literacy instruction must begin to include a focus on knowledge and skills.

Knowledge-building must begin in the early years, using a coherent plan that employs listening, discussion, and other modes that do not limit students to the information that they can access through their own reading. Presenters summarize the research, establishing the key role that background knowledge plays in comprehension; address the ways in which writing both depends on and deepens knowledge; and describe what a knowledge-building curriculum looks like in the classroom—as they provide a personal perspective from the parent of a child with dyslexia.