2016 Award Recipients


Congratulations to our 2016 IDA Award Recipients. Each of these individuals have accomplished incredible achievements within the world of learning disabilities and as such are being honored to show our appreciation for them and all they do. 


The Samuel Torrey Orton Award

Albert M. Galaburda, M.D.

Dr. Galaburda received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Boston University and trained in medicine under Dr. Norman Levinsky and in neurology under Dr. Norman Geschwind, both at the Boston City Hospital (currently the Boston Medical Center). He received board certification in internal medicine in 1976 and in neurology in 1977. Dr. Galaburda is the Emily Fisher-Landau Professor of Neurology (Neuroscience) at Harvard Medical School. His clinical and research expertise has been in the field of cognitive neurology, with a special focus on learning and attention disorders, as they affect adults. He has published more than 200 scientific articles and several books on these subjects and has received many prizes and honors for his contributions to medical knowledge. He led as the chief of the Division of Cognitive Neurology between 1989 and 2015, at which time he stepped down to dedicate his time to other academic pursuits and to the topic of diversity and healthcare disparities. He is still active in clinical practice and highly involved in the education of cognitive neurologists, neuropsychiatrists, and neuropsychologists. He works as the Co-Director of the Mind Brain Behavior Interfaculty Initiative (MBB) at Harvard University; MBB is an interdisciplinary community of faculty from across Harvard University that engages in research and other academic activities aimed at elucidating the structure, function, evolution, development, aging, and pathology of the brain in the context of human behavior, genetics, and society.


Dr. Galaburda will be presented with this award on Thursday, October 27, 2016, during the general session.

The Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award

Lenox M. Reed, CALT-QI, M.Ed.

Lenox M. Reed, CALT-QI, M.Ed., is the recipient of the 2016 Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award, an award given to an individual who has advanced the mission of IDA and whose work on behalf of IDA embodies Margaret’s compassion, leadership, commitment to excellence, and fervent advocacy for people with dyslexia. Lenox was founding executive director of Neuhaus Education Center, a non-profit center dedicated to preparing teachers to teach basic literacy skills to all students, including those with dyslexia. She served on IDA’s Board of Directors, from 1999-2005 and was a founding member of the Houston Branch of IDA. She has published numerous articles in respected journals, including IDA’s Annals of Dyslexia, and has received various awards recognizing her exceptional contributions to the field of dyslexia.


Ms. Reed will be presented with this award on Friday, October 28, 2016, during the general session.


The Norman Geschwind Memorial Lecture

Guinevere Eden, Ph.D.

Guinevere Eden is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Director of the Center for the Study of Learning at Georgetown University Medical Center. Her research is supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. She also served as Scientific Co-Director for the National Science Foundation-funded “Science of Learning Center” housed at Gallaudet University. Dr. Eden and her colleagues were the first to apply functional MRI to the study of dyslexia in 1996. Dr. Eden continues to investigate the neural bases of dyslexia and brain-based changes following intervention. Recently she has expanded her research to include children with both math and reading difficulties. Dr. Eden has published widely (including journals such as Nature, Nature Neuroscience, and Neuron) and she serves on the Editorial Boards for the journals Annals of Dyslexia, Dyslexia, Brain and Language, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, and Human Brain Mapping (Associate Editor). She served as an expert witness at a full committee hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on the “Science of Dyslexia” in 2014. Dr. Eden is past-president of the International Dyslexia Association.


Dr. Eden will be presenting this lecture on Friday, October 28, 2016, during the general session.

IDA Excellence in Leadership Award

Rick Fiery (co-recipient)

Rick Fiery is the co-founder of InventiveLabs, a research lab and business incubator that helps people with learning differences find their passions and create new businesses in an all-accepting environment. Rick has a passion for helping young adults with learning differences find alternative paths to success and believes with the right environment and support; people with learning differences can achieve substantial success. Prior to InventiveLabs, Rick was the CEO of several startup companies that he created and cultivated before strategically selling them. One of his software companies grew to have subsidiaries in six countries with products that sold in over 60 countries. He also ran the finance department for a large multinational software company generating over $330 million before departing to take on yet another startup. Rick has a Bachelors and Masters in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.


Tom Bergeron (co-recipient)

Tom Bergeron is the co-founder of InventiveLabs, a business incubator focused on college-aged adults with dyslexia and/or ADHD. The Lab runs a hands-on program fostering creativity, and teaching the business skills needed to develop products and start businesses. Tom shares his knowledge of product development, sales, and marketing acquired at numerous start-up companies that focused on launching innovative products. He has seen the highs and lows of the entrepreneurial world, which taught him to enjoy the journey as much as the reward. He believes the challenges he experienced in school taught him the value of perseverance that is so critical to the entrepreneurial spirit. Through his experiences, Tom noticed the best entrepreneurs were often individuals who think and learn differently. He is now committed to helping a new generation of entrepreneurs create new products and services. Tom has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.


Mr. Fiery and Mr. Bergeron will be presented this award on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, during the Conference Kickoff.


Pinnacle Award

 Patrick Whaley

Patrick Whaley is a dedicated man who persistently works to support and encourage everyone who suffers with dyslexia. Whaley is a businessman, entrepreneur, Eagle Scout, and a loving son, brother, husband, and friend to all whom he encounters. He truly embodies the Pinnacle Award as an individual with dyslexia who has made it his life’s mission to take the “dis” from “ability”, for one and all. 

He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of TITIN LLC. Whaley invented TITIN’s patented, weighted apparel in his dorm while achieving his BSME ’10 at GaTech. His company has grown substantially since it’s introduction to the marketplace in 2010, and TITIN’s products are critically acclaimed by Olympic winners, professional/amateur athletes, weekend warriors and heralded by numerous professional & collegiate sports teams, worldwide.

Whaley uses his personal experiences with dyslexia to apply rigorous determination and focus towards recently earning his Single-Engine Pilot’s License, as well as his Multi-Engine Pilot License with a High-Altitude Endorsement, allowing him to fly above 25,000 ft. His passion for flight, as a third-generation Whaley pilot, has motivated him in his current pursuit to obtain his Instrument Pilot Rating followed by his Commercial Pilot Rating. 

Patrick always says that, “Worried energy is wasted energy,” as he lives each day with positivity and perseverance.

Mr. Whaley will be presented this award on Friday, October 28, 2016, during Dyslexia Palooza.


New Researcher Award

Luz Rello

Luz Rello (Spain, 1984) is a Post Doctoral Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute. She is also an Ashoka Fellow, invited expert to W3C-WAI and co-founder of the Cookie Cloud and Change Dyslexia team that creates applications from research results. She holds a degree in Linguistics (Complutense University of Madrid), a MSc in Natural Language Processing (University of Wolverhampton) and a Ph.D. in Computer Science (Pompeu Fabra University). She has received a number of awards, including the MIT Technology Review ‘Innovators under 35 Award Spain’ (2014), Princess of Girona Foundation Social Award (2016) or the European Young Researchers’ Award (2013) for her work on applying technology for dyslexia using Linguistics, HCI and NLP. Her IDEAL eBook reader and Dyseggxia game (Vodafone Foundation Mobile for Good Europe Awards 2013) have received nearly one hundred thousand downloads in more than 70 countries. Currently, she is working to detect dyslexia at large scale using the app Dytective, and on bringing this work to society via her non-profit organization Change Dyslexia.

Ms. Rello will be presented this award on Thursday, October 27, 2016, during the general session.

aiden-colvinRemy Johnston Certificate of Merit

Aiden Colvin

Aidan Colvin has gone from a discouraged school-age child, to a reinvigorated young man. What began as a long-shot attempt at inspiration and encouragement has grown far beyond Aidan’s wildest dreams. His novel, Looking for Heroes: One Boy, One Year, 100 Letters, has reached dyslexics and those struggling for motivation alike. He began seeking guidance within the dyslexic community by sending out letters to stars, comedians, authors, and others who have struggled with dyslexia and related learning challenges in their life just as he has. It has grown to be the sometimes gritty, eye-opening, and encouraging story of growing up. Aidan Colvin is a representation of promise in the face of adversity and is a true testament to the idea that a small ripple can create a big wave.

Aiden will be presented this award on Thursday, October 27, 2016, during the general session.