2015 IDA Conference Program

Conference Overview

Click here to view or download the 2015 Conference Program.  The entire program is over 15 MB and may take several minutes to open or download.  Save time by using the links below to download pages for specific days of the conference.





Wednesday, October 28

The program includes two full-day (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m) and four half-day symposia. Click the links below for more information:

W1 – Multi-tiered Systems of Support and Response to Intervention: Research, Implementation, and Educator Preparation

W2 – Dyslexia and the Brain: Understanding the Neuroscience of Reading Development and Disability

W3 – Linking Identification, Assessment, and Intervention in Response to Instruction (RTI) Frameworks: Studies from the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities

W4 – Evidence-based Writing Instruction and Assessment Practices for Students with Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia

W5 – English Language Learners: Literacy Instruction, Assessment, and Intervention

W6 – The Twice Exceptional Dyslexic: Research and Practice


This year attendees can choose one of two school visits:
1) Southern Methodist University or 2) The Shelton School and Wylie Independent School District.


IDA Presidential Award of Excellence

Tincy Miller

Tincy Miller, Texas Board of Education

Geraldine (Tincy) Miller is a Texas hero and leader for high quality, evidence-based education for all children. She has served on the Texas State Board of Education for twenty-eight years, four of which she was Chairperson. Most importantly, Ms. Miller led the initiative for the first state dyslexia law in the nation passed in 1986. This law specified the identification and remediation guidelines for dyslexia. The Dyslexia Handbook was also created for the state of Texas, and Ms. Miller has ensured that it is updated on a regular basis to include the most current science on teaching reading. She also championed the dyslexia licensure law in Texas, which was implemented in 2009. The dyslexia licensure law ensures highly qualified and well-prepared educators with credentials to provide intervention for dyslexia. The Texas dyslexia laws for identification, remediation, and licensure have served other states and countries as a model. Under Ms. Miller’s leadership, Texas has included a structured literacy approach in the state standards since 1997. She has been instrumental in updating the English language arts standards this year and in previous years. Ms. Miller is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and an Academic Language Therapist. She worked at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in the reading laboratory under the direction of the late Dr. Lucius Waites. Ms. Miller is a Texas legend and the International Dyslexia Association recognizes her expertise, leadership, and dedication to making sure that every child can read, including those with dyslexia and related disorders.


Pinnacle Award

Scoot McNairy

Scoot McNairy, Actor and Producer

Scoot McNairy is a highly successful actor and producer serving as a role model for children and adults with dyslexia. As a child, Scoot attended Shelton School in Dallas, Texas, a private school dedicated to those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and other related disorders. With nieces and brothers who also attended the Shelton School, dyslexia truly hits home for Scoot.
Although Scootis affected by dyslexia, he has not let his learning disability hinder his creativity or progress in the entertainment industry. Back in 2009, Scoot’s film, In Search of a Midnight Kiss, which he both acted in and produced, received the John Cassavetes Award at the Independent Spirits Awards. The John Cassavetes Award honors the Best Feature Made for under $500,000. Within the past five years, Scoot has been nominated for Best Actor at the 2010 British Independent Film Awards, shared a Screen Actors Guild Award, and selected as one of Variety’s “10 Actors to Watch.”
In the past, Scoot has worked alongside stars such as Ben Affleck, Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thorton, Jamie Foxx, Brad Pitt and Liam Neeson. He currently stars in the AMC series Halt and Catch Fire and has made guest appearances on popular shows such as CSI, How I Met Your Mother, Bones and Six Feet Under. Recently seen in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, you can expect to see more of Scoot in upcoming films, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Our Brand is Crisis, Sleepless Night and War Machine.



Thursday, October 29

Thursday begins with the Plenary Session at 8:30 a.m. and includes the presentation of the Samuel T. Orton Award followed by the Samuel Torrey and June Lyday Orton Memorial Lecture. Concurrent sessions start at 10:30 a.m. through 5:15 p.m.  Poster presentations will be highlighted from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall.  The Dallas Branch will host conference attendees at the Toast of Texas social event at Cross Timbers Winery.  Transportation is included with ticket purchase but don’t forget to add your ticket when you register.


Virgnia Berninger

Not All Specific Learning Disabilities are the Same: Lessons from Translation Science for Diagnosis and Treatment and FAPE 4 All

Virginia W. Berninger, Ph.D., University of Washington

Behavioral and brain research show that dysgraphia, dyslexia, OWL LD, and dyscalculia are definable, diagnosable, and treatable. Instructionally relevant learning profiles for each of these specific learning disabilities (SLDs) are described, along with phenotype profiles (behavioral markers of gene variations) relevant to their etiologies and understanding that SLDs are “invisible disabilities” interfering with components of the language or math learning mechanism. A case is made for new legislation mandating funding for translational science (reduction of research to educational practice) and professional development at the preservice and inservice levels for teachers and others on interdisciplinary teams regarding SLDs. Models are offered for replacing adversarial with positive home-school relationships, specifying developmental steppingstones for assessment-instruction links with preventing SLDs in mind and K to 12 monitoring, and guidelines for individually tailoring instruction to create functional systems for language by ear, mouth, eye, and hand, and math (What Works for Whom When).



Friday, October 30

Friday begins with the Plenary Session at 8:30 a.m. and includes the presentation of the Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement award followed by the Norman Geschwind Memorial Lecture.  Concurrent sessions start at 10:30 a.m through 5:30 p.m.  Poster presentations will be highlighted from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall.  Events conclude on Friday with a screening of One By One: The Teachings of Diana King at 7:00 p.m.

Karen Dakin

The Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award
 recognizes the work of an individual who has advanced the mission of the IDA. The award shall be given to a member of IDA whose work on behalf of IDA embodies Margaret Rawson’s compassion, leadership, commitment to excellence, and fervent advocacy for people with dyslexia.
The 2015 Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to Karen E. Dakin, M.Ed. Karen has been a member of the IDA’s Board of Directors for 11 years and has held the office of Vice-President, Secretary, and Board Member-at Large. Karen was the first Editor of The Examiner and has been the Program Chair for two IDA annual conferences. In 2008, she co-authored with Louisa Cook Moats, Ed.D., Basic Facts About Dyslexia and Other Reading Problems, an IDA best-selling book. The diagnosis and treatment of dyslexia has been her passion during a fulfilling professional career as educational diagnostician, clinician, teacher trainer, and educational therapist.


John Gabrieli

How Cognitive Neuroscience May Contribute to Helping People with Dyslexia

John Gabrieli, Ph.D., Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Over the past fifteen years, neuroimaging studies have revealed differences in brain structure and function between individuals who do (dyslexia) or do not have difficulty in reading, and also structural and functional plasticity associated with effective intervention programs. Now, a key question is whether such neuroscience knowledge can be used to help individuals with dyslexia. I will discuss some research directions that may address this question, including the use of brain measures to predict the trajectory of reading difficulty (successful compensation versus persistent difficulty), to support appropriate diagnostic criteria (such as the use or misuse of discrepancy criteria for diagnosis), and to identify children at risk for reading failure prior to reading instruction (and thus justify early intervention).



Saturday October 31, 2015

Concurrent sessions begin at 8:00 a.m. through 10:15 a.m.  Our conference will end with the Closing Plenary Session at 10:30 a.m.

Louisa Moats

Let’s Engage the Dyslexia Debates: What’s Fact and What’s Not?

Was Einstein dyslexic? Are all dyslexic people gifted with unusual brains? Is dyslexia a unique reading disability? Are subtypes of learning difficulties clear-cut? Do all dyslexics have measurable phonological deficits? Does the diagnosis come with a prescription? We will explore these and other issues that can stymie progress in the identification and treatment of reading difficulties.



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