Conference Recap: 65 and Going Strong!


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Sunny skies, shimmering palms and warm breezes provided an idyllic back drop for one of the most successful conferences in IDA history. “Best conference ever,” reported an Ohio third grade teacher who made the trip at her own expense.

The Hilton was sold out in days, extra blocks of rooms had to be reserved at nearby hotels and it was standing room only at the key plenary sessions. While the line at the hotel Starbucks went out the door, attendees seized on the opportunity to catch a breath and strike up a conversation with fellow coffee drinkers!

Dyslexia spokesmen and dignitaries Cameron Herold and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom were fantastic reminders that career success and dyslexia go together like sand and sun. Meanwhile, Kate Cain and Fumiko Hoeft completely captivated a standing room only crowd with profound insights on the nature of higher-level language skills and how to translate discoveries back to practice.

The well-deserving Charlie Haynes received the Margaret Byrd Rawson award with humility and grace, and a packed Hilton ballroom was brought to tears by the emotional video remembering Sylvia Richardson.

Barbara Wilson, along with counterparts in the Department of Education, spearheaded multiple sold-out sessions on the science behind implementation and program adoption. Decoding Dyslexia electrified the conference with a profoundly energetic parents round-table, while Drake Duane transfixed attendees with brilliant public oratory.

After hours parties and events were in abundance including the highly successful launch of, and a mariachi fueled soiree by Emmy Award-winning film maker Harvey Hubbell V.

Hats off to all the sponsors, inspiring speakers, organizers, conference chair Karen Dakin and the dedicated IDA staff who made the event a fantastic success!  Click here for more pictures.

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