IDA Global Partners—32 Years of Collaboration

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Volume 9, Issue 1
February 2020

By Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan, Ph.D.

IDA is pleased to have 27 Global Partners who provide information and services for individuals with dyslexia around the world.  As IDA just recently celebrated its 70th year as an organization, the IDA Global Partners are celebrating their 32nd year of a strong partnership with IDA. Dr. Charles Haynes has worked closely with our Global Partners from the beginning.  Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan has also worked closely with IDA’s Global Partners for many years. Dr. Cárdenas-Hagan asked Dr. Haynes to share with our Examiner team details of how the Global Partners became established and to describe their current and future goals.

Q: When was the Global Partner’s Committee established?

A: In 1998, after observing that many IDA members hailed from countries outside of the US, the IDA Board of Directors voted to create a system of “National Affiliates.” The system was first conceptualized as a model similar to the United Nations—with a single affiliate coming from each country and the IDA Board acting as a directorate.


Q: What was the purpose of establishing the Global Partners Committee? 

A:  The purpose of the committee was to disseminate and share information about the nature, diagnosis, and treatment of dyslexia around the world.


Q: Who were the very first members?

A: The first member was the Brazil Dyslexia Association, an association that stemmed from Dr. Joyce Pickering’s early interactions with colleagues in Brazil.


Q: What have been some of the most important accomplishments from your perspective?

A:  Through the years, some of the most significant accomplishments of IDA’s Global Partners have included, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Changing from a vertical system of affiliates answering to IDA to a horizontal network of “Global Partners” with IDA acting as coordinator/facilitator
  • Further expansion of the number of Global Partners
  • Clarification of our common purpose:
    1. To encompass efforts to enhance dyslexia awareness
    2. To support the development of diagnosis
    3. To support intervention efforts.
  • Creation of an Institutional Certification program for Global Partnerss, a group effort led by Dr. Gad Elbeheri, Dr. Elaine Cheesman, Dr. Lee Siang, and Dr. Charles Haynes
  • Development of a Spanish version of IDA’s Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading led by Dr. Eric Tridas, Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan, and Dr. Juan Jimenez.


Q: What is the mission of the Global Partners today?

A: Together, IDA and its Global Partners would like to further expand the number of Global Partners and have a greater impact on dyslexia identification and treatment across the world.


Q: What do you see as the future for Global Partners and IDA?

A:  There are many possibilities for future directions for our Global Partners and IDA:

  1. Further expansion of the number of active Global Partners to create and support a truly “international” IDA
  2. Development (jointly between IDA and the Global Partners Committee) of the following:
    1. Global standards for diagnosing dyslexia (through efforts of Eric Tridas, Gad Elbeheri, Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan, et al.)
    2. Global knowledge and practice standards for teachers of reading (and other written language [literacy] skills) who use structured literacy instructional approaches
      1. This effort needs to integrate research advice from experts on how people develop literacy skills in different orthographies and oral language systems
  3. Last, but certainly not least, IDA needs to find strategies for supporting development of GPs in economically disadvantaged countries.

IDA would like to thank Dr. Charles Haynes and Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan for their dedication to IDA, the Global Partners and their committee members, and our joint mission for ensuring access to literacy for individuals worldwide.

Charles Haynes, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, Senior Advisor for IDA’s Global Partners Committee, helped to found IDA’s system of Global Partners. A former Vice President of IDA’s Board of Directors, he is a professor and clinical supervisor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at MGH-IHP (Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions) in Boston. His clinical and research interests are in bilingual literacy and writing instruction. His most recent publication is From Talking to Writing: Strategies for Scaffolding Narrative and Expository Expression. In 2014, he received IDA’s Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, President of Valley Speech Language and Learning Center in Brownsville, TX, also works with the University of Houston–Texas Institute for Evaluation and Statistics. Her research interests include the language and literacy development of Spanish-speaking English learners and interventions for bilingual students. She has authored research articles, book chapters, and interventions for English learners. A former Vice President of IDA’s Board of Directors, she is a member of IDA’s Global Partners Committee and also serves on the IDA Media and Communications Committee. In 2019, she received IDA’s Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award.


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