IDA Turns 70, Launches Symposia to Honor Drs. Richardson and Sherman

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Volume 8, Issue 3
September 2019

By Carolyn D. Cowen and Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan 

One way we are celebrating the impressive milestone of the International Dyslexia Association’s 70th birthday is to inaugurate two very special conference symposia—

  • The Annual Sylvia O. Richardson Symposium in Language, Literacy, and Dyslexia
  • The Annual Gordon F. Sherman Neuroscience and Education Symposium

Dr. Sylvia Richardson

Both Dr. Richardson and Dr. Sherman made singular contributions to the fields of dyslexia, language, and neuroscience as well as vital contributions to the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). Each served as an IDA president—Sylvia Richardson served from 1984 to 1988 and Gordon Sherman served from 1996 to 1999.

Each also has been conferred with some of IDA’s highest honors. Both Sylvia and Gordon are recipients of the “Samuel T. Orton Award”—Sylvia in 1992 and Gordon in 2001. Gordon was a “Norman Geschwind Memorial Lecturer” in 1995. Sylvia received the Margaret Byrd Rawson award in 1999. Finally, both have been inducted into the “Sylvia O. Richardson Hall of Honor.”

To say that IDA stands on the shoulders of these giants might be an understatement. To say that Dr. Richardson and Dr. Sherman’s pioneering work shaped the lives of countless individuals for the better might be an underestimation. To say these IDA giants and pioneers will continue influencing important work in dyslexia, language, and neuroscience is our aspiration.

Dr. Gordon Sherman

This is the reason IDA is establishing two annual symposia in the names of Gordon F. Sherman and Sylvia O. Richardson. Both symposia share a common goal—to provide a platform for interdisciplinary presentations and dialogue that advance future collaboration, leadership, and innovation at the nexus of research, practice, and policy. In other words, these symposia, established in Dr. Richardson and Dr. Sherman’s names, will continue to inspire work that has an impact.

Both symposia will be held on November 7, 2019. To learn more about these and all the other fantastic presentations and events at IDA’s 70th conference, check out the conference program here. Your only difficulty will be choosing which session to attend since all are exemplary! However, we have eased this challenge somewhat by establishing the Richardson and Sherman symposia as annual events. Their speakers and topics will evolve over the years, but these symposia and their themes and goals will be fixtures at IDA conferences. If you cannot attend one this year, you will have plenty of opportunities in the future!

We look forward to seeing you in Portland November 7-10, 2019!

Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan, Ed.D., is a bilingual speech and language pathologist, and a certified academic language therapist. She is currently the Co-Chairperson of the International Dyslexia Association’s 70th Annual Conference and Chairperson of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities.  Elsa is also a member of the IDA Global Partners and Educator Training Initiatives. She previously served as a Vice-Chairperson on the IDA Board of Directors and as Executive Editor in Chief for IDA Editorial Boards. Elsa’s research interests include the development of assessments and interventions for English learners with reading and learning difficulties.  Her work includes projects in the United States and other Spanish-speaking countries working with all of those who can benefit from learning evidence-based practices for reading instruction.

Carolyn D. Cowen, Ed.M., serves on the Board of Directors of the International Dyslexia Association and is Executive Editor-in-Chief of IDA’s Editorial Boards. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Research Institute for Learning and Development. Carolyn has worn many hats in her 40 years of working in education and nonprofits; currently, she is a communications strategist. Carolyn is especially interested in harnessing the power of digital media to make complex information accessible and actionable for the spectrum of decision-makers working for change on behalf of those with dyslexia and learning differences. Follow her on Twitter @cdcowen.

Copyright © 2019 International Dyslexia Association (IDA). Opinions expressed in The Examiner and/or via links do not necessarily reflect those of IDA.

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