Conference Registration, “Building Stories”

First Time Attendees

for Recorded Sessions 

Register On-Line




Serving Children with Dyslexia in the General Education Classroom: From the Common Core State Standards to Multi-tiered Systems of Instruction

Carol Connor

Chancellor’s Professor at University of California, Irvine, Carol is an expert on dyslexia, individualizing instruction, technology, and Multi-tiered intervention systems (RTI). Her research focuses on children’s language and literacy development with the aim of understanding and preventing the difficulties children who are atypical and diverse learners have developing basic and advanced literacy skills. Most recently, she has focused on children’s learning in the classroom – from preschool through fifth grade — and developing technology and interventions to improve teacher efficacy and students’ literacy achievement. Awarded the Presidents’ Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2008, she is the principal investigator for studies funded by NICHD and IES, and Associate Editor for Child Development and AERA Open.


Recorded Session

Preparing Students with Disabilities for Successful Transition to College

Elizabeth C. Hamblet

Elizabeth C. Hamblet, a learning consultant at Columbia University’s Disability Services office, has worked at the college level for over 15 years after starting her career in the field as a high school special education teacher and case manager. Since 2008, she has been making presentations at high schools throughout the region and at national conferences to educate professionals, parents, and students about the changes students will find at college and how to best prepare them for success there. In addition to her book, 7 Steps for Success: High School to College Transition Strategies for Students with Disabilities, she has published numerous articles on this topic. She offers advice and information on her website at You can connect with her at and on Twitter @echamblet.


Recorded Session

Could This Be Dyslexia? Facts vs. Myths

Robin Rovick, Certified Academic Language Therapist, Orton-Gillingham Certified Teacher Level OG-CT, Wilson Reading System Level 1 Reading Teacher

Have you had a student or your own child that was struggling to learn reading and writing skills, but weren’t sure why they weren’t “picking it up”?  Timely identification and remediation can make a significant difference in the child’s journey in learning these valuable skills. This session will cover the basic facts of dyslexia and dispel many common myths. Learn what dyslexia “looks like” at different ages and grades – there is no need to wait until third grade to intervene. We will cover what structured literacy is and why it is effective with this language processing learning disability.

Robin is a knowledgeable and creative educator with over thirty years of experience in nurturing and building the skills of learners of all ages, with a special emphasis on developing the reading, writing, and comprehension skills of individuals with language-based disabilities. She has served the IDA-UMB organization as Vice-President and as Chair of the Information and Referral Committee, where she has answered hundreds of calls and referral requests from teachers and parents looking for solid information about dyslexia. She provides remediation and advocacy work through her private practice at MultiSensory Reading Solutions, LLC, where she designs individual learning programs based upon student needs both in academic areas and executive function deficits, and provides direct, one-on-one instruction. Robin also works with students and teachers at metro-area public and private schools, and has provided tutoring through the Groves Academy Outreach program. She served on the Board of Directors for Orton-Gillingham of MN for many years and works with parent outreach organizations including Decoding Dyslexia to promote the adoption of multisensory, explicit, research-based reading instruction in schools and tutor training programs. Robin is passionate about all children and adults having the opportunity to read fluently, accurately, and with enjoyment, as well as helping families navigate through the academic and personal journey of dyslexia and other reading disabilities.


Recorded Session

Touchpoint Handwriting: The Link to Reading Instruction plus Uppercase & Numbers

Jan Hagedorn, Reading Readiness Director, The Reading Center

NEW CONTENT Upper Case Letters and Numbers, Learn a simple, concrete, explicit, systematic way to teach letter formation that will help children recognize letters in a way that improves reading and spelling in emergent readers. This program was developed by Jan Hagedorn combining knowledge from OG training and consideration motor skills and attention span of young readers. Handwriting instruction is not being taught in classrooms. Teachers are not taught how to teach handwriting. Schools have defaulted writing problems to OT. We improve outcome by coordinating reading and handwriting.

Jan Hagedorn works with emergent, at-risk readers and their parents at the Reading Center. She developed the Reading Club programs that help children at risk strengthen weakness that interfering with learning to read. She presents at workshops and conferences. Jan is on the team as a coach to primary grade teachers in groups and one-to-one in their classrooms as part of the Reading Center Infusion Program. Jan is a Trainer II for MNCPD and has developed the courses for preschool teachers training to help teachers recognize children at-risk and teach teachers age appropriate interventions for classroom’s use. UMBIDA board member 2007-13.

Handouts (Speaker to provide handouts at session)

Recorded Session (Session will not be recorded)

Read for Meaning – Fluently

Claire Hayes, Educational Consultant

Learn how to develop fluency, support vocabulary, and promote comprehension by combining three powerful, research-based strategies: teacher modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring. Meet standards and accelerate the achievement of developing and struggling readers using these effective strategies. Although Read Naturally materials are displayed, use the strategies with any curriculum.

Claire Ihnot Hayes is an Educational Consultant for Read Naturally. She meets with educators nationwide to discuss reading, fluency, and the Read Naturally strategy. She coordinates and advises on professional development courses and programs to various schools and districts throughout the country. Claire also teaches in the reading lab in St. Paul, implementing the Read Naturally strategy; and she has been involved with the program since its development.


Recorded Session

OG in the Classroom and Beyond!

Sharalee Marsh, MA, OG – CTT              Deb Dwyer, OG – CT, CDP         

How to bring Orton-Gillingham into the classroom. In this workshop, Sharalee Marsh will be demonstrating how to take what you know about an OG lesson and apply it in the classroom. • How to determine your scope and sequence • How to create a lesson plan for the classroom • How to incorporate into the existing curriculum • Small and whole group • Fun and engaging for all students This is not an overview of Orton-Gillingham, but designed for teachers that have taken some OG classes.

Sharalee has a BA (Elementary Education), Bethel University, St. Paul, MN MA (Education), Bethel University Center for Graduate Studies, St. Paul, MN Elementary Education 1-6, Specific Learning Disabilities, & Emotional Behavior Disabilities Licenses Orton-Gillingham Training Levels 1-4 Private Orton-Gillingham tutor in East Metro Learning Specialist, Liberty Classical Academy, White Bear Lake, MN Elementary classroom teacher, Liberty Classical Academy, White Bear Lake, MN Orton Gillingham Reading Specialists teacher, Edina, MN LDA of Minnesota, teacher and evaluator, Minneapolis, MN Special Education Teacher, Woodbury, MN Teacher Trainer and Supervisor for Orton-Gillingham of MN Member adjunct faculty, Hamline University, MN

Deb has a BS, LeMoyne College, Syracuse, NY Currently enrolled in Masters in Reading Science, Mount St. Josephs University, Cincinnati, OH. Certified in Orton-Gillingham through Orton-Gillingham of MN Certified Dyslexic Practitioner through IDA


Recorded Session

Etymology: The Stories of Words and their Impact on Literacy

Sue Hegland, Structured Literacy Tutor

Every word in English has a story which sheds light on its spelling and meaning. The story of <pandemonium> is embedded in its spelling. There are secrets hidden in the word <secretary>. And grapheme choices like the <c> in <voice>, <wr> in <wrap> and <kn> in <knife> can be explained and remembered by studying etymology, an often ignored but powerful tool to enhance reading and spelling instruction.

Sue Hegland is a Multisensory Structured Literacy tutor, trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach and Structured Word Inquiry. Her passion is sharing information about the etymology, morphology and phonology of the English language and their importance in Structured Literacy instruction.

Sue is an advocate for effective education for all children, including dyslexic children.She serves on the Board of Directors for the International Dyslexia Association, Upper Midwest Branch, and on the Board of Education for the Brandon Valley School District. She recently served on a workgroup on dyslexia for the state of South Dakota, has presented at Special Education conferences and has done training for teachers and private tutors. She began learning about dyslexia more than a dozen years ago, as a parent.


Recorded Session

Becoming a Mentor: Joining the Dyslexic Community

Sam Thorson

During my presentation, I’ll discuss how I became a mentor for a local organization for dyslexic children. I’ve spent four years with the W.I.L.D organization in Sioux Falls, SD. As a mentor, I began to see and understand some of the struggles that I myself experienced when I was younger. I will talk about how we approach getting kids to take on new challenges and how the activities create a “community” of people who all share similar struggles.

Originally from Groton, South Dakota, Sam attended Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English Literature and a bachelor of arts degree in Government and International Affairs. While in college, he was on the Augustana Vikings football team for five years, and was awarded the Jim Heinitz Leadership Award his senior year. He works as a Content Specialist for KeyMedia Solutions in Sioux Falls, specializing in the creation and strategic distribution of promotional content for the business and their clients. He also volunteers to mentor elementary and middle school students with learning differences.


Recorded Session

The Imagery-Language Connection: Teaching All Children to Read and Comprehend

Dana Kernik, Center Director

Imagery is a basic sensory-cognitive function connecting us to the language we hear and the print we read. Many children experience weakness in creating imagery which causes difficulties in word reading and comprehension.   Imagery-based, sensory-cognitive instruction has been identified as critical to addressing these weaknesses, especially in children diagnosed with dyslexia. Neurological and behavioral research validates the imagery-language connection resulting in lasting effects on word reading, comprehension, and specific areas of brain function in students with dyslexia.

Dana Kernik received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Dana has worked for Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes since 2010. She has worked in many capacities, including Clinician, Consultant, and Associate Center Director. In addition, Dana has managed Seasonal Learning Clinics in several locations, including Singapore and Tokyo in 2014. Currently, Ms. Kernik serves as the Director of the Twin Cities Learning Center, overseeing operations, instruction, and outreach. Dana is passionate about helping people reach their potential and has worked directly with hundreds of children and their families to help them improve their language and literacy skills.


Recorded Session

Innovative Sequencing of Language Structure for Older Students

Fay Van Vliet, Director of Programming at The Reading Center 

Sequencing the structure of the English language can be a challenge when working with older students. It requires understanding of: students and their knowledge; content being taught; and the structure of language. A creative and effective sequence, designed by pioneers in the field, will be offered, accompanied by practical materials.

Fay Van Vliet is an AOGPE Fellow, Certified Therapist with the International Dyslexia Association and has spoken at regional and national conferences. She holds Minnesota State Teaching Licenses in elementary education, middle school language arts, and K-12 reading. Currently, she is the Director of Programming at the Reading Center in Rochester, MN, working over 20 years in capacities including Lead Instructor of Orton-Gillingham Teacher Training Institute, Diagnostician, Master Teacher, Reading Coach in the school district, Educational Therapist, Director of the Reading Center’s summer school program and liaison for the Rochester Reading Champion’s Program. Fay has 32 years of experience in the area of education, including elementary and middle school classrooms, and as an instructor at the collegiate level.


Recorded Session

Life and Dyslexia

Thomas Strewler, MSE, President IDA-UMB

Living with Dyslexia for six decades can bring about a varied perspective on life. This presentation will share on Dyslexics story through a lens of age and stages of life, based on a set of probing questions from each stage of  life from young child to adult.

Mr. Thomas Strewler is President of the Upper Midwest Branch, International Dyslexia Association. He is owner of Enduring Achievement, LLC, an educational services company providing academic tutoring and tutoring for children and adults with dyslexia. Thomas is a retired teacher. During his career he taught special education working with learning disabilities; he subsequently taught elementary classroom. He served on and led numerous committees examining curriculum, leadership, assessment, technology, professional development, and instructional strategies. Thomas received a B.S. in Elementary Education at the University of Minnesota, a M.S. in Special Education from St. Cloud State University, and a M.S.E. in Educational Administration from University of Wisconsin-Superior. Thomas was diagnosed with dyslexia and was tutored through Orton-Gillingham approach.


Recorded Sessions

Barebones Grammar

Wendy Stacy, M.S., CCC-SLP, LDT, CALT-QI, CDT

An understanding of the function or grammatical roles words play in sentences is a necessary precursor to developing fluent sentence formation and comprehension skills. In this hands-on, interactive workshop, participants will be exposed to the Barebones Grammar for Reading and Writing curriculum, an explicit, systematic, inquiry-based approach to sentence analysis, formation, and comprehension. They will practice with the concepts introduced and leave with tools they can immediately implement in their classrooms.

Wendy Stacy is an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist, ALTAcertified academic language therapist, ALTA-certified qualified instructor of therapists, IDAcertified dyslexia therapist, and holds additional licensure as a dyslexia therapist in the state of Texas. She is the director and cofounder at ReadWrite Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma providing assessment and intervention services for students with dyslexia. In addition, in her role as director, Wendy regularly provides professional development training for teachers, reading specialists, therapists, school psychologists, diagnosticians, speech-language pathologists, and school administrators covering a wide variety of material including an overview of dyslexia, screening and assessment for dyslexia, reading, grammar and writing intervention, and dyslexia simulations. She also serves as the dyslexia consultant for several area education task forces and is currently working with members of the state legislature and Decoding Dyslexia Oklahoma to further the awareness of the need for legislated dyslexia services in Oklahoma. Wendy is the author of the Tier Tools for Teachers intervention program that includes the 6 Syllable Types to Success and Barebones Grammar for Reading and Writing curricula. In addition, she is the creator of the accompanying Tier Tools for Teachers O-G-based Games Set that includes 33 different reading, writing, spelling, and language games. Wendy also authored and published the TSRH- approved Benchmark Measures, a deep benchmarking tool designed to be used alongside Take Flight: A Comprehensive Curriculum for Students with Dyslexia © 2006 Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.


Recorded Sessions


Share this page with your friends…