APS Dyslexia Conference 2017

pages logoOctober 28, 2017: 9:00am – 3:00pm
Kenmore Middle School
200 S. Carlin Springs Road, Arlington, VA 22204

Thanks to all who attended and presented at the first APS Dsylexia Conference, which addressed building knowledge, interventions, accommodations and more.

Keynote Presenters:
Ameer Baraka, actor, educator, activist and author of The Life I Chose, presented the Keynote Address.


Photos Courtesy of Donna Owens Photography

Breakout Sessions included:

AIM for Success: Using Technology to Remove the Barriers of Print-based Text***
Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) and related assistive reading technology breed independent, confident, and successful learners. The use of AIM can positively impact student performance by improving grades, increasing independence, improving test scores, and increasing success. AIM provides a variety of features that can be used to meet a student’s individualized needs, such as text-to-speech, tagged images, text annotation, modified text, and many more. For students that struggle with traditionally printed text, accessible materials remove barriers and make curriculum content attainable. AIM-VA is a Virginia Department of Education Grant funded service that provides materials and support for qualifying students in grades K-12 and their teachers.
Presenter: Ian Moore, Program Specialist
1 hour session
View AIM for Success Presentation
View AIM VA Information Sheet

APS Reading Interventions:
Participants will be provided an overview of the following reading interventions used in APS for students with dyslexia: Phono-Graphix, Read Naturally Live, Orton-Gillingham, My Virtual Reading Coach, and SpellRead. Attendees will participate in simulations and observe demonstrations of specific lessons from some of the interventions.
Presenters: Meg Davis, Special Education Coordinator and Elizabeth Walsh, ATSS Specialist
1 hour session
Reading Interventions Presentation

Discovering the Gift of Dyslexia When Gary was in third grade, a teacher pulled him out of his reading class and told him he had a learning disability. “You learn things differently than most kids,” she said. “But different is good.”In this session, learn how Gary, who still struggles to read, grew up to become a writer – first as a reporter for The Washington Post and then as a speechwriter and author. Through it all, he wants kids to know three things: First, that every kid has special powers. Second, that being different is good. And third, if he can become a writer, then anyone can do or become whatever they can imagine.
Presenter: Gary Karton, Author
1 hour session

Dyslexia and Comorbid Conditions
During this session, participants will get an overview of dyslexia and common comorbid conditions, (dysgraphia, ADD, dyscalculia, APD). We will discuss remediation and accommodations.
Presenter: Tracy Block-Zaretsky, Co-founder, Dyslexia Training Institute
2 hour session

Dyslexia and the HOTS
During this session participants will learn strategies to help students with dyslexia how to keep their HOTS at grade level. (HOTS – Higher Order Thinking Skills)
Presenter: Tracy Block-Zaretsky, Co-founder, Dyslexia Training Institute
2 hour session

Dyslexia Forward: Why Now and Where Are We Going? ***
Information around dyslexia has become more prevalent and available within recent years.  Why has this happened and where will the awareness movement lead?  We will explore the history and more recent trends around research, education, and legislation in Virginia, throughout the U.S., and at the federal level.
Presenters: Kristin Kane, Family Resource Coordinator and Mary Stowe
1 hour session
Dyslexia Forward Presentation
Dyslexia and the Brain
Questions to Start Conversations
School Accommodations and Modifications
Timeline of Educational Legislative Research Advocacy Events
VDOE Specific Learning Disability Guide

Essential Strategies for Teaching Mathematics to Students with Dyslexia
Students with dyslexia may struggle in mathematics for reasons having little to do with math itself. Problems with language can have a profound impact on their ability to perform calculations, retrieve number facts, and follow detailed sequential operations. The answer is not always accommodations. Specific teaching strategies used in small group and inclusive settings can help students with dyslexia progress along with their traditionally learning peers.
Presenter: Marilyn Zecher, Math Specialist, The Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Center
2 hour session

Essential Mathematics Strategies for Supporting Students With Dyslexia

Overview of the Orton-Gilligham Methodology
This session will provide an overview of the Orton-Gillingham methodology.
Presenter: Institute for Multi-Sensory Education Trainer
2 hour session

PALS: Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening***
All APS elementary students are assessed with the PALS: Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening assessment.This session provides information for parents about the assessment and the results.
Presenter: Ayanna Baccus, Reading Specialist
1 hour session
PALS Presentation

Student Panel
A panel of students with dyslexia, including Sara Jane Owens of More Than Dyslexics (MTD), will share their experiences.
1 hour session

There is No Such Thing as a Sight Word
If you find yourself telling students that English is crazy, this workshop is for you. Learn how to investigate words that appear, on the surface, to be nonsensical. You will learn the proper linguistic terms for reading and spelling instruction and how to help students understand the English writing system.
Presenter: Kelli Sandham-Hurley, Dyslexia Consultant
(Full Day session. Participants are required to attend both Part 1 and Part 2. Part will be held from 10:10am to 12:20pm and Part 2 will be offered from 12:55pm to 3:00pm).
View There is No Such Thing as a Sight Word Presentation

Understanding and Interpreting Psychological Reports from a Parent/School Staff Perspective***
APS School Psychologists will describe the basics of a psychological evaluation. Participants will learn key terms found in a psychological report, information related to commonly administered assessments, and how evaluation results may be linked to students’ classroom performance. If desired, participants may bring specific questions to better understand their child or student’s psychological evaluation results.
Presenters: Jenny Lambdin, APS School Psychologist/Section 504 Coordinator and Anna Kim, APS School Psychologist
1 hour session
View Understanding Psychoeducational Reports Presentation

Understanding Dyslexia and Ways to Support the Dyslexic Learner from K-12 and Beyond One in five students has dyslexia, a neurologically-based, often familial, learning difference that interferes with the acquisition and processing of language. Dyslexia is manifested, in varying degrees, by difficulties with phonological processing, reading, spelling, handwriting, and expressive writing. Unaddressed, dyslexia can lead to problems with self-esteem, behavior, and academic progress. This session will describe dyslexia, its signs and symptoms, and the crucial components effective interventions must have in order to change the trajectory of the lives of even the most severely dyslexic students.
Presenter: Laurie Moloney, Academic Language Therapist, DCIDA President
2 hour session

View Understanding Dyslexia Presenation

Unpacking Dyslexia: Assessment and Diagnosis from a Brain-Behavior Perspective
This presentation focuses on understanding dyslexia from a brain-behavior perspective and the role this perspective has in the assessment and diagnosis of dyslexia.
Presenter: Dr. Tania Thomas-Presswood, School Psychologist
1 hour session
View Unpacking Dyslexia Presentation

Thanks to Arlington SEPTA for co-sponsoring this conference.