December 17, 2020 by HCDE-Texas
As the illiteracy rate continues to grow in Houston, local experts believe that learning disabilities like dyslexia are a factor. The virtual biannual Dyslexia Summit 2021 scheduled for Jan. 16 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. is helping to provide strategies to support Houston-area dyslexic students.
“This is an underserved area that people are just at the tip of the iceberg understanding,” Harris County Department of Education Curriculum Director of Special Populations Brenda Arteaga said. “The Mayor’s Office released a report showing that Houston’s illiterate population has increased from a quarter of the population to a third of the population in the past four years.”
Three keynote speakers from the Neuhaus Education Center serve as keynote speakers. The nonprofit educational foundation is dedicated to promoting reading success. The summit’s focus is “Innovation in Dyslexia Services: A Virtual Event.” The purpose is to bring innovative strategies to students identified with dyslexia and to provide support to parents.
Traditionally, teachers, administrators, parents and community members attend the event.
Presenter Allison Peck leads a session called “Real Talk about Dyslexia.: The Top 10 Things I have Learned as a Parent and Educator.” Peck gives a personal journey into understanding and embracing dyslexia.
“By sharing real talk about dyslexia, I believe all families can survive and thrive,” she said. Her child’s journey with dyslexia led her to become a special education teacher to help others with reading disabilities. Peck is currently the vice president of professional learning at Neuhaus.
Rebecca Tolson, vice president of literacy initiatives for Neuhaus, is a second presenter. Tolson specializes in using structured literacy techniques as intervention for dyslexia and dysgraphia. She has a doctorate in elementary education from University of Akron and is a certified language therapist and a certified dyslexia therapist.
Neuhaus’s Barbara Conway provides a third session focusing on struggles with reading at older grade levels. The session explores what it takes to be a proficient reader at any age and examines ways to help older readers get basic skills they need for reading and meaning by using longer, more sophisticated words.
Cost for the Dyslexia Summit is $99. Attendees get a book or online subscription from Neuhaus with registration. Register: https://tinyurl.com/DyslexiaSummit21 .