Dyslexia Conference 2020

APS Virtual 2020 Dyslexia Conference Logo

Although we will miss seeing you in person this fall, we are excited to present a virtual conference in acknowledgement of Dyslexia Awareness Month, 2020, with events scheduled throughout the month. Please register for sessions below, and check out the free Resources section, as well.



  • Dyscalculia: What We Know and Strategies to Help
    Monday, October 26th: 7pm-8pm
    Presenter: Judith L. Fontana, Ph.D., Mild Disabilities/Instructional Support Teams Coordinator
    George Mason University’s Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC)

    Register Here
    The ability to calculate and understand basic math concepts and principles are life skills. Dyscalculia is a learning disability that impacts one’s ability in mathematics. Like, but not to be confused with dyslexia, the impact of dyscalculia falls along a continuum. Each case is unique. The session will address common characteristics, assessments and instructional strategies. Resources will be provided.

  • Read & Write Literacy Software Tool
    Thursday, October 29th: 7:30pm-9pm
    Presenters: Sandra Stoppel, OTR/L, Assistive Technology Specialist; Lauren Kravetz Bonnet, PhD, CCC-SLP, Assistive Technology Specialist; and Marbea Tiernan Tammaro, MEd, OTR/L, Assistive Technology Specialist; Arlington Public Schools
    Register here
    Read & Write is an educational literacy software program that makes lots of everyday tasks easier. It makes the web, documents and files more accessible on the APS staff’ and students’ personal learning devices. Read & Write was targeted to support reluctant writers and students with learning disabilities in the areas of reading and writing; however it is beneficial for anyone who prefers to use these robust tools.  Arlington Public Schools has this software available to all staff and students in three versions, depending on the type of device that is issued.  To get information on how to install Read & Write on an APS issued personal learning device, visit Arlington Tiered System of Support (ATSS)Read & Write features include:

    • hearing documents read aloud to support comprehension;
    • text and picture dictionaries to support understanding of unfamiliar words;
    • translates individual words into other languages
    • develops writing and spelling skills with word prediction;
    • highlighting and collecting text to build vocabulary lists;
    • turning speech into text;
    • simplify and summarize text on web pages; and
    • annotation.

Conference Session Resources

Supporting a Student with More Than Dyslexia
October 10, 2020
Dr. Brian Razzino Session Recording Session Handouts
Lexia Core5 Reading
October 13, 2020
Dr. Suzanne Carreker Session Recording
A Step in the Writing Direction October 15, 2020 Therese Pickett Session Recording – Unavailable Session Handouts
Practical Strategies for Parents 
October 16, 2020
Kelley Hyner
Dr. Donna McConnell
Session Recording Parent Resource Document
Structured Literacy: The Science of Reading
October 20, 2020
Suzanne Carreker, Ph.D., CALT-QI, Principal Educational Content Lead, Lexia Learning Session Recording – Coming Soon! Session Handouts
Dyscalculia: What We Know and Strategies to Help
October 26, 2020
Judith L. Fontana, Ph.D., Mild Disabilities/Instructional Support Teams CoordinatorGeorge Mason University’s Training and Technical Assistance Center Presentation slides

Additional Resources

  • Complimentary Dyslexic Edge Conference Registration & Free Virtual Exhibitor Hall
    October 17, 2020

    To support the Arlington community, the organizers of the Dyslexic Edge conference have generously offered up to 25 complimentary registrations to remove financial barriers to participating in the conference. Please contact the Parent Resource Center at prc@apsva.us to request a complimentary conference registration code. Many thanks to the Dyslexic Edge for supporting our community.
    The Dyslexic Edge Conference’s virtual exhibitor hall will be open to the public and can be found at https://www.thedyslexicedge.org/exhibitors
  • APS English Language Arts Dyslexia Information
  • Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Dyslexia Information
    • Specific Learning Disability Supplementary Guide on Dyslexia:  Frequently Asked Questions – This document is designed to be a resource for teachers, administrators, and parents to address the educational needs of students with dyslexia.  The Guide provides information on the resources and services available to students with dyslexia through general education, as well as any student with dyslexia who may qualify to receive services as a student with a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504).
  • The Reading League, sponsor of the Science of Reading Conference, has a Youtube channel with hundreds of hours of free content from many of the speakers who present at their conferences.
  • Accessible Instructional Materials – Virginia (AIM-VA) – Accessible Instructional Materials of Virginia provides accessible instructional materials at no cost to Virginia students with Individualized Education Programs (IEP) who qualify for the service.
  • International Dyslexia Association
    • Fact Sheets – The IDA fact sheets are convenient, professionally reviewed materials designed to improve understanding of dyslexia.  Fact sheets include, but are not limited to:  Dyslexia and the Brain, Effective Reading Instruction for Students with Dyslexia, and Dyslexia Basics.
    • Dyslexia Handbook:  What Every Family Should Know – In addition to offering valuable information about dyslexia and its characteristics, this handbook provides information on assessments, effective teaching approaches, self-advocacy ideas, and a vast array of resources.

Presenter Bios

  • Lauren Kravetz Bonnet, PhD, CCC-SLP, Assistive Technology Specialist; Arlington Public Schools
  • Suzanne Carreker, Ph.D., CALT-QI, Principal Educational Content Lead, Lexia Learning
    Suzanne is the 2018 recipient of the Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award from The International Dyslexia Association. She served as Senior Vice President of Innovative Solutions at Neuhaus Education Center, a nonprofit that has offered professional development in evidence-based reading methods to more than 75,000 teachers, and also served on the board of The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) for 10 years. Suzanne is currently the principal educational content lead at Lexia Learning. She is an author of several peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous literacy-related curricula. Dr. Carreker received her master’s and doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University and, additionally, is a Certified Academic Language Therapist and Qualified Instructor.
  • Judith L. Fontana, Ph.D., Mild Disabilities/Instructional Support Teams Coordinator at George Mason University’s Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC).
    Judith is known for her motto of “All children can learn. It is my responsibility as a teacher to discover how to help each child reach his/her potential.” Judith has been a general educator, a reading specialist and a teacher of children with mild to moderate disabilities in self-contained and team classes. Assessment, teacher education as well as Instructional strategies for literacy and content area learning for students in grades K-12 with mild disabilities and ESOL students are areas of interest.  Judith earned a BA in English from Niagara University in NY, a M.Ed. in Reading Education from the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY and a Ph.D. in Education from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. In addition to extensive work in private and public school in several states and overseas with the Department of Defense Public Schools, Judith has worked as a consultant for an educational publishing company and as a volunteer coordinating a Reading Is Fundamental program for American elementary students in Okinawa, Japan. She has been a consultant for WETA’s Reading Rockets website and has contributed to the LD Online website. Current work efforts include the Multi-sensory Literacy Instruction Pilot Project (MSLIPP) and the “Real Co-Teachers of Virginia”. Dr. Fontana is a certified professional developer for Content Enhancement Routines (Strategic Instruction Model, SIM  from KRCL).
  • Kelley Hyner, Arlington Tiered System of Supports (ATSS) Supervisor, Arlington Public Schools
  • Dr. Donna McConnell, Elementary Language Arts (ELA) Elementary Teacher Specialist, Arlington Public Schools
  • Therese Pickett, Implementation Specialist, Voyager Sopris Learning
    Therese Pickett enjoys her role as an Implementation Specialist for Voyager Sopris Learning where she provides professional development in intervention curricula and supports teachers and staff in the implementation of these programs. Additionally, she provides support to administrators in the districts with whom she works. Before joining Voyager Sopris Learning, Therese held positions as a junior high special education teacher, and a high school English and history teacher. She received her M.A.T. in Learning Disabilities from Madonna University and her B.S. in Secondary English Education from Illinois State University.
  • Brian Razzino Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Razzino & Associates, LLC
    Dr. Razzino is a licensed clinical psychologist with over twenty-five-years of experience working with children, families and adults. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from DePaul University (Chicago, IL.), and completed his clinical child and adolescent psychology internship at Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) in Washington, DC. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, The Virginia Academy of Psychology, and the Northern Virginia Academy of Clinical Psychologists. Dr. Razzino has worked with hundreds of families on depression, anxiety, learning differences and ADHD. He has extensive clinical experience with complex developmental difficulties and training in neuropsychology. Dr. Razzino is a certified Program for Education and Enrichment of Relationship Skills (PEERS) provider through the Semel Neuroscience Institute at UCLA. U His performing arts training, which he weaves naturally into his clinical activities, helps him connect to and bond with families and children from a wide range of backgrounds. In his personal time, he has founded the Arts Fund for Child Health and Development, a scholarship program funding summer theatre classes for underprivileged children and teens. He is most proud of being a father and husband while doing what is closest to his heart, working with children and families.
  • Sandra Stoppel, OTR/L, Assistive Technology Specialist; Arlington Public Schools
  • Marbea Tiernan Tammaro, MEd, OTR/L, Assistive Technology Specialist; Arlington Public Schools