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Knockin’ Down Barriers for Dyslexia IDA-WI 2020 Virtual Conference

September 19, 2020

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Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and what the fall time of the year might bring us, the Wisconsin Branch of the International Dyslexia Association has decided to hold its 2020 Annual Conference completely online.  The content for this conference will be available for 60 days beginning September 19, 2020.

We will be in contact with you in the coming months as to how you can expect to join us for our 2020 Annual Conference on September 19, 2020.

Conference Presenters:

Mark Seidenberg – The Science of Reading

Mark Seidenberg is Vilas Research Professor and Donald O. Hebb Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a Senior Scientist at Haskins Laboratories. He is a specialist in psycholinguistics, focusing specifically on the cognitive and neurological bases of language and reading. Seidenberg received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for the Study of Reading at the University of Illinois. He has held academic positions at McGill University, the University of Southern California, and, currently, at the University of Wisconsin. Seidenberg has published over a hundred scientific articles and has been recently honored as one of the 250 most-cited researchers in the areas of psychology and psychiatry. Seidenberg is author of the book, “Reading at the Speed of Sight”. Dr. Seidenberg recently received The Hollis Scarborough Award at the 8th Annual Research to Practice Symposium (with the AIM Institute for Learning & Research).

Dr. Alanna Kessler-Jones & Dr. Jonathan Mietchen

Alanna Kessler-Jones, PsyD, L.P., Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology, completed her PsyD in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University in Schaumburg, Illinois in 2007. She completed extensive training in pediatric neuropsychology. This included an internship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan and 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. This extensive specialized training in pediatric neuropsychology has provided her advanced knowledge of neuropsychological profiles in a variety of pediatric conditions including cancer, epilepsy, head injury, ADHD, learning disabilities, genetic disorders, behavioral disorders, and spina bifida.

Jonathan Mietchen, PhD, Pediatric Neuropsychology Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison, completed his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Brigham Young University in 2018 where he received training in neuropsychological assessment. He completed an internship at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita. He is a pediatric neuropsychology fellow in the Department of Neurology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Clinical interests include traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, ADHD, and learning disorders. He staffs a learning disorders and ADHD clinic, brain injury clinic, long-term cancer survivors clinic, spina bifida clinic, and neuromuscular clinic..

Both Dr. Kessler-Jones and Dr. Mietchen will be presenting the following sessions:

Dysgraphia & Dyslexia Screeners
Do you, your child or student have a difficult time with handwriting and or other fine motor skills? Have you observed difficulties reading independently and would like more information about how to screen for Dyslexia? Dr. Kessler-Jones and Dr. Mietchen will help participants understand Dysgraphia and present good Dyslexia Screeners.

Executive Functioning
Dr. Kessler-Jones and Dr. Mietchen explain Executive Functioning and discuss how it impacts learning. Participants can make connections with how the brain operates and ways to support people that have difficulty demonstrating adequate executive functioning skills.

Kelley SteinkeSystematic & Multi-Sensory Spelling Instruction

Kelly Steinke, M.Ed., NBCT

Kelly is a mother, wife, teacher, business owner, and curriculum writer.  Kelly began her career as a special education teacher and had goals of becoming a special education director.  After completing her Master’s Degree in Administration and Leadership, Kelly became licensable as a director of pupil/services & special education. It was about this time that she became interested in the field of dyslexia. Instead of pursuing administrative goals Kelly pursued certifications as a dyslexia specialist and founded her company, READ Learning Educational Services, LLC. READ Learning is a full time reading center specializing in Orton Gillingham based reading interventions (online and in person) and dyslexia diagnosis.  Kelly is also an, adjunct instructor in the special education department (literacy) at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, offers speaking engagements, and the author of Silver Moon® Spelling Rules curriculum and professional development training.  For more information visit www.ReadLearningServices.com or www.SilverMoonSpellingRules.com.

English language spelling is not as unpredictable and crazy as many think!  This prerecorded 3.5 hour class is for anyone who’d like to understand spelling better.  Whether your goal is to work with students or help yourself, this course presents the most foundational and essential spelling rules/generalizations and uses the Silver Moon Spelling Rules curriculum as basis for instruction. Silver Moon teaches participants how to spell instead of what to spell and brings spelling to life using creative, charming characters and logical rules. Course goals and additional details can be found here:




Dara Atandare & Loucricia CarsonAccommodations: Supporting the Needs of Diverse Learners

In order to meet the diverse needs of our students and adults living with various abilities, it is important to acknowledge the need to access grade level content, perform daily responsibilities /tasks on the job as well as function within the community. This session will provide participants with the opportunity to learn about various tools that can help them complete tasks/assignments pertaining to reading and writing with an emphasis on Culturally Responsive Practices. Let us know your questions regarding unique learning challenges and ways to empower students to be successful, by clicking and completing the link to this Google form  (https://forms.gle/TbgCEGMWD6WioDNN7) or sending an email to wibida@gmail.com.

Dr. Shawn Robinson

Dr. Shawn Robinson is a Senior Research Associate in Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an author, a dyslexia consultant, and serves on the Board of Directors with the International Dyslexia Association. His recent book, “Dr. Dyslexia Dude (vol. 1 & 2)”,  “is an often humorous and relevant source of hope and inspiration for kids, parents, and teacher” https://drdyslexiadude.com/index.html. Dr. Robinson shares his perspective as a  panelist.

Representative Myers – Video Remarks

Representative Lakiesha Myers (35 years old) was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is a graduate of Rufus King, High School. She received a bachelors in Political Science (2006) and Master’s in Education (2009). In 2016, Representative Myers received a PhD in Education from Argosy University. 

Representative Myers is a former educator with the Milwaukee Public Schools. Her responsibilities included serving as a School Support Coach and modeling instructional leadership for the district. Once directly serving the district’s premiere alternative education center, Representative Myers believes in serving the students that have the greatest challenges. She was elected into the Wisconsin Assembly during 2018 after deciding to run for office due to the “neglect and starvation”  that had hurt Wisconsin’s educational system. Currently, Representative Myers is the only African-American woman in the Assembly from the Milwaukee area, and one of only two statewide.

Representative Myers currently serves on the Assembly Agriculture, Education, Federalism and Interstate Relations, Regulatory Licensing Reform and Tourism committee along with the Assembly Speaker’s Task Force on Adoption. She is also the vice-chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. 2021 will be the end of Representative Myers’ term and she will seek re-election.

Representative Byrd – Shares his Story

Representative Larry Byrd served in the 82nd Division of the United States Armed forces and has been a Representative since  2008. Please join us in watching/listening to Representative Byrd’s message on the Success in Mississippi. Representative Byrd shares his personal connection while  being interviewed by the lead Psychometrist for the Specialized Services Department at Lamar School District. This interview was videotaped by his granddaughter that has Dyslexia.

Panel Discussion Kelly Kuenzie (facilitator) Panelists – Representative Larry Byrd, Dr. Amy Murdoch, Dr. Catherine Reuter, Dr. Shawn Robinson, Dr. Mark Seidenberg, Katie Kasubaski, Loucricia Carson, and Nathan Mandeville.

Registration: Eventbrite




September 19, 2020