2020 Annual IDA
Reading, Literacy & Learning

Reaching New Heights:  Advancing Every Classroom
Through the Science of Reading


The Annual Reading, Literacy & Learning Conference is a source of information for anyone affected by dyslexia and other learning-based challenges.  The 2020 event will feature leading experts in the areas of dyslexia, structured literacy, and research who are transforming the science of reading in every classroom and into the fabric of today’s educational system. 

We are excited to re-imagine the 2020 IDA Annual Reading, Literacy and Learning Conference as a dynamic, interactive, and completely virtual experience.  We look forward to welcoming over 2,800 Teachers, researchers, therapists, policymakers, parents, advocates, and anyone who is eager to learn more about dyslexia and other learning-based challenges.  As always, the conference will feature leading experts in the areas of dyslexia, structured literacy, and research who are helping bring the science of reading into every classroom and transforming our educational system.

This year’s virtual conference offers even more thought-provoking content and will expand your knowledge and network. The virtual conference will offer LIVE Streamed General Sessions, interactive symposia and breakout sessions, poster sessions, the IDA Virtual Bookstore, the Exclusive IDA Virtual Exhibit Hall, and innovative access to the IDA conference experience using a state-of-the art and easy to use virtual community platform.

Event Details


Virtual Venue

The virtual conference will take place entirely online via the Communiqué Conferencing Virtual Platform.  You can access the conference via your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. More details on how to use the platform and its many features will be available in a few months.  


Educational Sessions

The 2020 IDA Annual Reading, Literacy and Learning Conference will feature 56 presentations, including four general sessions, one keynote address, symposiums and breakout sessions, plus poster sessions.  Up to 67 Continuing Education Units are available.



The virtual platform provides plenty of opportunities for you to connect with familiar colleagues and expand your existing network.  Interact through each session's chat and Q&A areas, the virtual exhibit hall and the lounge.  We are hosting games and other fun activities to ensure you enjoy yourself while you are learning.


2020 Samuel Torrey Orton Award Winner and Samuel Torrey Orton and Joan Lyday Orton Memorial Lecture

Revisiting Language and Literacy: Obligations of the Schools of Education

R. Malatesha Joshi, Ph.D.  |  Professor of Literacy Education and Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University

R. Malatesha Joshi, Ph.D., teaches and conducts research relating to literacy development among monolinguals and bilinguals. Dr. Joshi is the Editor of Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal as well as the monograph series, Literacy Studies. From 1980–2002, Dr. Joshi directed several international institutes in Europe related to neuropsychological and cognitive aspects of literacy funded through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Dr. Joshi served on the board of directors of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) from 2001-2011, secretary from 2003–2006, and the conference co-chair from 2004–2006. He has received numerous national and international awards, such as Erasmus Mundus fellowship, Germany, and Strategic Research Fellow Award, New Zealand. Dr. Joshi has been invited as a senior research scholar from various countries, such as China, Taiwan, Iceland, New Zealand, and Germany. Because of his research contribution, Dr. Joshi was selected as the 2017 Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), their highest award that exemplifies the highest standards of excellence. In 2019, Dr. Joshi received an honorary award from the Association of Reading and Writing in Asia for his “extraordinary contribution to understanding literacy around the world.”


2020 Norman Geschwind Memorial Lecture

Moving from a Reactive to a Proactive Model in Education:  How a Neurobiological Framework of Reading Development Can Inform Educational Practice and Policy

Nadine Gaab, Ph.D.  | Research Associate and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Dr. Nadine Gaab is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School and a member of the faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Gaab’s work focuses on developmental cognitive neuroscience, particularly in language-based learning disabilities. Her research within the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience examines the development of typical and atypical language and literacy skills in the pediatric brain as well as on pre-markers of learning disabilities and the development of screening tools for screening literacy milestones and dyslexia.

Dr. Gaab is the 2019 recipient of the LDA Award (Learning Disabilities Association America) for her work on learning disabilities. In 2018, she was presented with the Allan C. Crocker Award for her advocacy on behalf of children with dyslexia and reading disabilities and efforts around the recent passage of the Massachusetts screening legislation (under the guidance of Decoding Dyslexia MA). Dr. Gaab received the Alice H. Garside Award for outstanding leadership in advancing the science and advocacy of dyslexia. Dr. Gaab is an international speaker, frequently presenting to teachers on the brain science of typical and atypical literacy development, as well as best screening practices for early literacy milestones, dyslexia, and reading impairments.