The following is our schedule from LDACON61, that was held in February 2024. While we don’t have our schedule for LDACON62 ready yet, we’ve had many requests for our previous year’s schedule from schools and organizations looking to submit for approval to attend LDACON62 in February 2025.

Detailed Session Listing (with Descriptions)

Session Time* Session Title Session Description Session Speaker
8:00AM – 9:00AM Accommodations in Higher Education This session will review what reasonable accommodations are in higher education under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. We will review common accommodations that may be helpful to a student with a learning disability. We will also review self-advocacy skills in higher education. Kate Weeks
8:00AM – 9:00AM Culturally Sustainable Practices in Assessment and Instruction Two experienced teacher educators and LD researchers from diverse backgrounds will share culturally relevant strengths-based practices for assessment and intervention. Emphasis will be on practical and strength-based strategies that are directly applicable to classroom teaching. EunMi Cho, Srimani Chakravarthi
8:00AM – 9:00AM Empowering educators to deliver differentiated instruction via emerging technologies for ELs with or at risk for learning disabilities. This session will describe how emerging technologies, such as Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality, can be leveraged to support individualized instruction that will meet the needs for English Learners with learning differences. Sara Smith
8:00AM – 9:00AM 3D Bridge from Phonemic Awareness to Reading Following evidence-based research, learn how to teach the five levels of phonemic awareness, spelling rules, and reading rules in 3D! Teach from concrete to abstract, giving your students a hook, using their strengths to teach to their weaknesses. Attendees receive their own 3D starter kit in this hands-on workshop.
Mary-Margaret Scholtens
8:00AM – 9:00AM No Words Needed: Critical Visual Literacy in the Social Studies Classroom In our social studies classrooms, seeing is believing. This session will demonstrate how educators can use visual images to facilitate interpretation, analysis, positionally, and action-based civic participation for all students. Tim Lintner
8:00AM – 9:00AM Assistive Technology (AT) Use for Students with Specific Learning Disabilities in Inclusive Classrooms Use of AT is vital to support students with SLD in overcoming deficiencies in reading, writing, and math since the use of AT has positive outcomes on students with SLD. The purpose of this study is to examine teachers’ attitudes toward the use of AT and their classroom practices. Ayse Yakut
8:00AM – 9:00AM Race, Disability, and Punishment in Our Nation’s K-12 Schools This workshop will explore the confluence of racial identification and patterns of punishment of students with disabilities. In most parts of the country, students of color with disabilities are pushed at the highest rates of any group, by suspension, contact with police, and the use of aversive behavioral interventions that cause harm (such as the use of restraints, seclusion, and corporal punishment). The workshop will examine what is behind these disturbing trends, as well as the relevant federal laws and policies that should protect these students. What are schools doing wrong? How can school officials do better? Harold Jordan
9:15AM – 10:30AM Science or Snake Oil: How to Tell the Difference KEYNOTE SESSION Holly Lane
11:00AM – 12:00PM The Power of the Arts to Restore our Students’ Hope, Health, and Well-Being With the increasing population of students who have experienced trauma, lost hope, and may have mental health challenges, the arts have the potential to restore their health, strength, and self-confidence. The arts can assist students in regulating their emotions. This session provides multiple practical strategies. Beverley Johns, Lisa Kaye, Donalyn Heise
11:00AM – 12:00PM Optimizing Reading Assessment Protocols: Uncovering Strengths, Deficits, and Empowering Effective Instructional Practices In this learning session, we will delve into K-12 reading assessment. Designed for educators and instructional leaders, this session aims to equip participants with tools & knowledge to effectively identify students’ reading strengths & deficits as it applies to foundational literacy skills, ultimately informing instruction to support students with reading. Kellyn Sirach, Christie Johnson
11:00AM – 12:00PM Students in the Cracks: How to help kids with messy handwriting who don’t qualify for OT Handwriting is a fundamental skill, yet kids still struggle with legible output. Some kids qualify for OT services, but a significant number do not get any support. This workshop will provide you tips to enhance fine motor skills and improve handwriting for kids that fall through the cracks. Polly E. Benson
11:00AM – 12:00PM The Interplay of Decoding and Comprehension: Unveiling the Complexities of Reading This presentation explores the crucial link between decoding and comprehension. Skilled readers effortlessly make literacy leaps by abstract thinking and generalizing information, while less skilled readers grapple with both decoding and comprehension. Interestingly, seemingly basic words may hold intricate complexities. Discover how comprehension impacts decoding in this insightful discussion. Lois Letchford
11:00AM – 12:00PM Reading is what? Fundamental: Supporting Students Utilizing Microsoft Advancements Learn about FREE Microsoft tools available to schools and families to help students with disabilities succeed. Use Teams and the Reading Coach for accurate data collection and analysis. Teach students organization and mathematics problem-solving through the math assistant. Help students build their reading and speaking skills through Microsoft Online Features. Trevour Schoeller, Michael Saint, Michael Li, Kristen Killian, Emily Srisarajivakul
11:00AM – 12:00PM All Parents/Caregivers Can Be Effective and Empowered Advocates for Children with Disabilities Parents, Caregivers and Students should be are directly involved in the IDEA and Section 504 education process. Many feel their voices are not heard and/or their advocacy is impacted by knowledge base gaps. This session is for YOU. Learn and be empowered to lean into the next school meeting! Kimberly Caputo, Michael Connolly
11:00AM – 12:00PM Delivering and Sustaining Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices in Mathematics through Coaching Educators and researchers have developed and evaluated high-quality evidence-based interventions to support students’ achievement in mathematics, especially for students with learning disabilities. We present six evidence-based practices for early intervention for first-grade students with mathematics difficulties and coaching practices for teachers to implement these practices in their classrooms with fidelity. Soyoung Park, Mary Little
11:00AM – 12:00PM Building Resilience In Our Students Join us to discuss the four areas of resilience and take home “Resilience Boosters” that will help your students grow and better face adversity in your classroom and in their lives! Mark Gardner, Tyler Bastian
11:00AM – 12:00PM The LD Advantage – Turning Struggles into Assets Everybody struggles, but some, like Learning Disabilities, might get overlooked because they aren’t right on the surface. These disabilities can have their frustrations, but can also have their advantages. Discover 3 keys to living with Learning Disabilities, and learn how one’s greatest struggle can also be their greatest asset. Benjamin Johnson
11:00AM – 12:00PM Cracking the Behavior Code In this workshop we will address two important factors in obtaining and developing a BIP. Each factor is broken down into components: Requesting FBA and Developing BIP. Dyshum Robinson
11:00AM – 12:00PM Automated Dyslexia Screening in Schools using Computer Adaptive Tests Dyslexia is a type of learning disability in reading that is neurologically based. In addition to impairing early reading skill development, it causes significant mental and behavioral health risks in children that are maintained into adulthood with elevated risks for unemployment and incarceration. Research has found early identification is critical for improving long term outcomes for individuals with dyslexia. Scott Decker
12:15PM – 1:15PM The Legacy of Dr. James “Brad” Hale: Pioneering Brain Literacy for Educators in Supporting Students with Learning Disabilities This first lecture will serve as a tribute to Brad’s contributions and commitment to advancing brain literacy in education, focusing on the impact of his work and the continued relevance of his vision. It will include reflections on his accomplishments, personal anecdotes, and insights from educators who have been influenced by his work. This lecture will set the tone for the series by emphasizing the importance of understanding the brain and its role in empowering educators and supporting students with learning disabilities. Lisa Hain
1:15PM – 2:15PM Living With a Learning Disability: Challenges, Helpful Advice & Improvements Join our interactive workshop to gain insights into the unique challenges individuals with learning disabilities face. Discover practical strategies to overcome these challenges, discuss improvements in support systems, and foster understanding and support. Open to families, educators, professionals, and anyone seeking to empower and advocate for those with learning disabilities. Lisa Shaw, Courtney Burnett
1:15PM – 2:15PM Innovative Solutions = Inclusionary Practices This interactive session will highlight innovation (e.g., AI, VR, Apps) that have and continue to disrupt how we can provide responsive instruction to promote inclusion and positive outcomes for ALL our learners. Together, we will explore these solutions and what they mean for effective interventions and meaningful planning. Sean Smith
1:15PM – 2:15PM Empowering Success from Elementary to Secondary School through Effective Transition Planning and Accommodation Support School transitions can seem like an insurmountable challenge for students with learning disabilities (LD). However, by providing transition support and developing appropriate accommodation plans, we can equip these students to navigate the heightened demands and workload of secondary education, laying the groundwork for success in post-secondary and beyond. Beth Pollock, Alison Parker
1:15PM – 2:15PM Designing research and evaluation to improve family centered outcomes for dysgraphia This session will explain the concepts of patient-centered outcomes research and how and why they are applicable to the learning disabilities community. Using dysgraphia as an example, it will demonstrate how all us can collaborate to advance inclusive research and evaluation to improve health and educational outcomes. Jennifer King, Amy Copeland
1:15PM – 2:15PM Increasing Reading Efficiency for Test-Takers with Dyslexia – A Study of Text Fonts in Computer-Based Assessment The potential benefits of personalized font modifications in computer-based testing environments will be discussed. Attendees will see how various specialized fonts appear on a screen, learn about the first phase of a study examining benefits for test-takers with dyslexia, and hear how the initial phase may inform a broader study. Steve Noble, Shari Butler, Ruth Ramstad, Ann Evers
1:15PM – 2:15PM It Never Goes Away – Confronting the Continuing Special Education Challenges of COVID All students, but especially those with special education needs, have been significantly impacted by learning loss from the COVID-19 pandemic. This session will explore the challenges that our educationally disabled students continue to experience in this post-shutdown world and how these losses can be remedied. Meghan Probert, Michael Eig, Lisa Taylor-Cunningham
1:15PM – 2:15PM The Neuropsychology of Reading Disorders: Building Literacy Across the Globe (Part I) This workshop will examine reading disorders from a brain-based educational perspective, and discuss current worldwide literacy trends. There will be an emphasis on differentiating “dyslexia” from other reading conditions, and to classify reading disorders into four distinct subtypes. Scores of evidence-based interventions and key assessment strategies will be shared. Steven Feifer
1:15PM – 2:15PM Living With a Learning Disability: Challenges, Helpful Advice & Improvements Join our interactive workshop to gain insights into the unique challenges individuals with learning disabilities face. Discover practical strategies to overcome these challenges, discuss improvements in support systems, and foster understanding and support. Open to families, educators, professionals, and anyone seeking to empower and advocate for those with learning disabilities. Courtney Burnett, Lisa Shaw
2:30PM – 3:30PM Finding My Strengths by Knowing Me & With the Help From Others Are you stressed, confused and frustrated at work! This session will help participants understand the current challenges and challenges for someone with a learning disability. You will hear the lived experience of one teacher living with a learning disability which affected her mental health and work life. Denise Pfaff
2:30PM – 3:30PM Practitioners’ Evaluating Their Reading Instructional Practices After Engaging in Evidence-Based Interventions to Improve Outcomes for Students with Reading Disabilities The presentation describes what practicing teachers learned from their own classroom experiences about the need for evidence-based practices to improve outcomes for struggling readers. Shared will be the EBPs teachers selected, and their rationale based on the student’s current level of performance across the Big Five Reading Components. Denise Callwood-Brathwaite, Annamaria Jerome-Raja, Yvonne Campbell, Brittany Lee-Wright
2:30PM – 3:30PM Paragraphology – The Bright Way to Write Paragraphology™ is the study of writing through color-coding. Paragraphology™ is a multisensory, comprehensive, scaffolded approach to writing and note-taking that can be easily utilized by children, teens, college students, and adults. Students are systematically taught a formula that guides them through the process of writing. Bridget Barley, Benjamin Chafe
2:30PM – 3:30PM Implementing Individualized Format Readability to Improve Reading Performance The aim of this session will be to discuss how individualized format readability, such as the font of a text, can support more optimal reading performance in children. The session will present current research findings and resources for educators and students to use in the classroom. Stephanie Day, Amy Giroux
2:30PM – 3:30PM Reach One Teach One: A Mentoring Program for Black Neurodivergent College Student Success Black, neurodivergent students with disabilities are a twice-marginalized student group at higher risk for dropping out of college. This session will introduce an innovative program geared at improving transition and sense of belonging for Black neurodivergent students. Join us for a discussion of this novel program. Adam Lalor, Kelly O’Ryan
2:30PM – 3:30PM Motivating the Dyslexic Thinker through Movement and Play Through experiential and playful learning, instructors and students develop a trusting relationship through literacy, yielding empowered and self-confident individuals. A crucial link exists between emotional motivation, movement, and play to the dyslexic thinker. We will demonstrate how active engagement through movement and play encourages increased motivation and positive self-perception. Stacey Roselli, Caitlin Hymans
2:30PM – 3:30PM Model-based Problem-Solving Program for Students Who Are Struggling in Mathematics I will present Model-Based Problem Solving (MBPS, Xin, 2012) intervention program, an evidence-based practice for teaching elementary mathematics to students with LDs. I will also share how the MBPS program differs from existing teaching practices and the advantages of the MBPS in promoting students’ conceptual understanding in mathematical problem solving. Yan Ping Xin
2:30PM – 3:30PM The Neuropsychology of Reading Disorders: Building Literacy Across the Globe (Part II) This workshop will examine reading disorders from a brain-based educational perspective, and discuss current worldwide literacy trends. There will be an emphasis on differentiating “dyslexia” from other reading conditions, and to classify reading disorders into four distinct subtypes. Scores of evidence-based interventions and key assessment strategies will be shared. Steven Feifer
2:30PM – 3:30PM Knowledge of Self: Building the foundation of everyday self-advocacy in secondary and post-secondary students with mild and moderate disabilities This presentation will provide a practical and actionable framework through which to understand critical influences and highlight developmentally appropriate approaches to everyday self-advocacy skill development for middle and high school students. Participants will be able to establish priorities implement practical solutions for their particular professional or personal situation. Roxana Samaniego, Estrella Ochoa, Daniel Linden
2:30PM – 3:30PM Navigating Differences to Build Self-Confidence This interactive session will highlight the Brendan Approach of Navigating Differences to realize success and build self-confidence in youth using sailing as a platform. Charlie Arms
2:30PM – 3:30PM Fighting Fires and Overcoming Barriers Elizabeth Ramsey, Mrs Iowa USA and Learning Disability Advocate shares her story of struggling and succeeding with two learning disabilities. Elizabeth is the author of “Petey The Penguin” a children’s book that informs, encourages, and relates to children with learning disabilities. Elizabeth Ramsey
2:30PM – 3:30PM Core-Selective Evaluation Process for SLD Identification The Core-Selective Evaluation Process (CSEP) is a third-method PSW approach to SLD identification. It has been used successfully for over seven years in several states. This session will provide an overview of CSEP and describe the features that sets this model apart. Edward Schultz
2:30PM – 3:30PM Accelerating Instruction to Meet the Needs of Students: Learning Recovery in Students This symposium will focus on evidence-based strategies that can be used to support students who experience difficulty with reading. This is especially important in light of recent NAEP scores which show the number of students who struggle with reading continues to increase. As part of this symposium, the presenter will review high-impact practices that will benefit all students, including those with Learning Disabilities. Dr. Lane has vast knowledge on the evidence base of reading interventions and will provide tools that can be immediately applied to your learning environment. Holly Lane
4:00PM – 5:00PM The Power of YET! Neurodiversity, Brain Plasticity, & The Growth Mindset Presenter will discuss how current brain research is aimed at influencing & informing education. Participants will learn/review what neurodiversity is; what cognitive learning differences are & how to promote the Growth Mindset in all aspects of learning. This program will be interactive with practical activities teachers can use in classroom. Katrin McElderry
4:00PM – 5:00PM Solving a Chicken or the Egg Mystery: Does Academic Achievement or Social-Emotional Learning Come First for Students with Learning Disabilities? The causal relationship between social-emotional learning (SEL) and academic achievement in students with learning disabilities (SwLD) is unclear. A cross-lagged panel analysis indicated that SEL has a strong and causal effect on academic achievement for SwLD, not vice versa. Student success stories and best practices for SEL will be shared. Amber DeBono, Michele Heimbauer, Elizabeth Mendelsohn
4:00PM – 5:00PM Unofficially Absent: Informal School Removals. What they are, how they harm, and what to do about them Informal school removals including early send homes, asking students to stay home, and shortened schedules due to behavior deprive students of classroom time and learning experiences and threaten family stability. Participants will learn to identify informal removals, available solutions, and how to mitigate harm caused by this illegal practice. Caitlin McAndrews, Stefanie Ramirez
4:00PM – 5:00PM What Should be Included in a Comprehensive Assessment of Dyslexia The purpose of this session is twofold: (1) to describe in detail the abilities and skills that should be included in a comprehensive evaluation for dyslexia (reading and spelling skills, specific linguistic risk factors, cognitive abilities, rating scale information) and (2) to describe briefly how these components are operationalized in the new Tests of Dyslexia (TOD, 2024). Nancy Mather
4:00PM – 5:00PM Supporting Students with ADHD Executive Function Deficits in the Classroom Supporting Students with ADHD and Executive Function Deficits in the Classroom Rachel Owens, Brittany Hebert
4:00PM – 5:00PM Understanding How Quality Resource Rooms are the CORE of Special Education A process for designing and managing a resource room that provides quality, intensive supports and which reflects the HLPs of our profession is the focus.. How this will benefit stakeholders, like parents, administrators, and students will be discussed and the CORE steps to structuring a quality resource room presented. Sharon Blatz, Lauren Heberling
4:00PM – 5:00PM A Moonshot Playbook – Catalyzing Your Community to Improve Literacy Based on the lessons learned from a decade of experience unifying our community around our 90% Moonshot reading goal, The Learning Alliance will share a playbook that will provide a roadmap to help schools, districts, and community leaders create and/or accelerate the public/private partnerships needed to improve reading outcomes for all children. This playbook for action will help attendees know where to start, how to galvanize momentum and create a cross-organizational leadership team to customize a birth through third grade plan for improving policies and practices in their homes, schools, and community which align with the science of reading and learning. Barbara Hammond, Liz Woody Remington, Marie O’Brien


Session Time* Session Title Session Description Session Speaker
8:00AM – 9:00AM It’s Not Too Late! Reading Remediation at the Secondary Level Struggling readers often lack foundational skills, yet most secondary students don’t want to be taught from an elementary reading program. In this session, participants will learn how the study of morphology can provide a sophisticated method of teaching basic decoding/encoding to older students who struggle with reading and fluency. Esther Moreau
8:00AM – 9:00AM The Importance of Implementation Fidelity When implementing new programs, fidelity is crucial. Unfortunately, not all teachers implement programs with fidelity. This poster focuses on literature regarding implementation fidelity. Florence Bason
8:00AM – 9:00AM Enhancing Instructional Support for Students with Mathematics Difficulties: Implementing a Tier 2 Early Numeracy Intervention This poster provides an overview of the effects of an early numeracy intervention on the math performance of first-grade students with math difficulties and also provides instructional recommendations. Understanding evidence-based strategies–such as explicit instruction, multiple representations, and mathematical discourse–will assist teachers in supporting students with mathematics difficulties. Soyoung Park
8:00AM – 9:00AM Where Are We Now: The Alliance for Students with Disabilities for Inclusion, Networking, and Transition Opportunities in STEM (TAPDINTO-STEM) Year 3 Updates Entering its third year, TAPDINTO-STEM is a collaborative research project funded by the National Science Foundation with the goal of increasing the quantity of students with disabilities receiving undergraduate degrees in STEM disciplines. The purpose of this session is to describe program updates, and successes and challenges of the project. Tamara Massey Garrett
8:00AM – 9:00AM Sensory-Based Strategies in The School Setting: A Survey of K-12 Educators In order to improve the academic performance of students with sensory deficits, including those with ASD, sensory-based strategies are recommended for use by educators in the school setting. Although this study shows the effectiveness of alternated seating, massage, headphones, and fidgets we need more research to confirm these results. Hoda Hashemi
8:00AM – 9:00AM Team-based models and Shared Expertise: Enhancing Inclusive Education for Students with Learning Disabilities. This research delves into educators’ experiences in a team-teaching model, assessing their capacity to create inclusive environments for students with learning disabilities. By utilizing the Conservation of Resource theory, findings reveal key resources within team teaching, highlighting expanded use of inclusive practices and enhanced educator confidence educating students with disabilities. Brad Thompson, Tipsuda Chaomuangkhong
9:15AM – 10:15AM Difference or Disability?: Learning Disabilities and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students KEYNOTE SESSION Sam Ortiz
10:30AM – 11:30AM Working Smarter Together: The impact of accommodations in business and the neurodiverse community Rare Patient Voice will undertake a survey of neurodiverse members of their panel regarding workplace issues and accommodations. The results will be shared at the LDA conference prior to them being published. Pam Cusick
10:30AM – 11:30AM Advocating for Accommodations Requirements for testing accommodations on exams is ever-changing. In this session, we will look at the types of accommodations that are available for high-stakes exams, the accommodation request process, and documentation requirements. Also included will be an updated overview of accommodated testing and the best way we all can advocate. Debbie Bergtholdt
10:30AM – 11:30AM Collaborative IEP: Aligning the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. School Psychologist and Administrators as Leaders in Alternative Dispute Resolution In this course, participants will become exposed to Alternative Dispute Resolution and gain an understanding of the collaborative IEP process. Participants will learn the basics of principled negotiations, learn tools for effective communication, and intervention strategies to help deal with conflict resolution. Self-care amid conflict will also be discussed. Karina Quezada
10:30AM – 11:30AM Differentiating Second Language Learning from Language Disorders in the Classroom Helping teachers identify skill deficits in English learners is critical in the educational process. Learn to differentiate true language disorders in English learners and implement evidence-based interventions that improve outcomes. Monica Oganes
10:30AM – 11:30AM Ensuring the Least restrictive Environment for Students that Receive Services through Special Education Curriculum Continuum Development Attendees will learn how a large, diverse school district in a Minneapolis suburb identified tier 3 curriculum(s) and then developed a guiding document for special educators to use to ensure that students who receive special education services are accessing the appropriate and least restrictive curriculum to increase student achievement. Michelle Krelic
10:30AM – 11:30AM Avoiding “Teacher Tired Culture”: Interventions to Beat Burnout Tired of accepting the idea of being “teacher tired” being normalized? In this session you will learn about the surprising cause of burnout, how to recognize the severity of it, combat it, and what schools and districts can do to minimize it. Kindra Akridge
10:30AM – 11:30AM Increasing the motivation of students with learning disabilities by scaffolding praise and feedback during instruction This session aims to improve practice by providing specific methods on when and how to provide the most effective types of feedback and praise. This will provide teachers with the tools to help students with learning disabilities develop a growth mindset, thus potentially increasing their motivation and academic success. Alex Chambers
10:30AM – 11:30AM Ensuring students with LD have access to well-prepared teachers: The role of practice-based preparation This session presents research on effective practice-based teacher preparation for students with LD and how results of this research can be used by teacher educators and administrators to bolster personnel preparation efforts. Melinda Leko, Serena Liu, Laura Gomez
10:30AM – 11:30AM Do you call on the same students all the time? Do you teach to the T zone? Do you hit the outlier students? How do you decide on who to call for questions? Have you ever thought that you are calling on all the same students all the time? Janna Meyers
10:30AM – 11:30AM Diverse Student Normal Ability Performance (D-SNAP): An Objective Assessment of Impact The presentation will discuss the development and use of the measure of Diverse Student Normal Ability Performance (D-SNAP) approach for assessing the impact of diversity on cognitive scores obtained as part of an evaluation. Attendees will learn how to create and interpret the D-SNAP created graphs. Larry Pristo, Samuel Ortiz
10:30AM – 11:30AM Addressing the Teacher Shortage: Highly-Supportive Online Licensure Programs for Special Educators and Teachers of English Learners This session emphasizes the importance of internal and external collaborations when developing online, practice-based, accelerated programs for Teachers of English Learners and Special Education. Both programs allow educators to bring their professional expertise and classroom experience, leverage school partnerships, and align with state-level initiatives to address the teacher shortage. Kelli Esteves
1:00PM – 2:00PM How do I Manage Them, Me and their Learning Disability Would you like your kids to be more responsible, make better choices, and be less oppositional so you can return to enjoying parenting? Here are ten doable processes to diffuse the tension, encourage positive behavior, and nurture success. John Willson
1:00PM – 2:00PM Teaching Lead Poisoning Prevention with Elementary Students A hands-on introduction to original lessons and materials developed to raise awareness about the presence of lead and positive actions children and families can take to protect themselves. Materials include original storybooks, art activities, age-appropriate investigations, and problem solving challenges. Tracy Gregoire, Katy Adams
1:00PM – 2:00PM Tablet-based digital cognitive assessments to characterize graphomotor and handwriting challenges Tablet-based digital cognitive assessments: A new objective approach to characterize graphomotor and handwriting challenges. Maki Koyama, Michale Milham
1:00PM – 2:00PM Special Education Law, Disputes and Hot Topics This session will focus on understanding the basics of special education law as well as how to handle disputes. The last part will be updates and hot topics. Heidi Goldsmith
1:00PM – 2:00PM Dyslexia Assessment and Intervention for Multilingual Learners There are more than 5 million students who are classified as English learners attending public schools. One of the most common home languages of these students include Spanish. This session will describe the key elements of an evaluation for dyslexia and the evidence-based intervention practices. Elsa Cardenas-Hagan
1:00PM – 2:00PM Discover OrcamLearn; an AI Learning Companion for Struggling Readers

Orcam Learn is a life changing solution developed for students with reading and learning differences (including dyslexia) helping them improve their reading fluency, accuracy and comprehension This solution supports teachers, schools and parents to transform struggling
readers into thriving learners both in and out of class Orcam Learn is an interactive compact handheld device/OCR reader that scans and reads aloud text from a printed or digital surface. A teacher/admin portal provides data analytics and reporting that helps educators customize strategies and learning solutions. Orcam Learn supports struggling readers in all populations including SPED, ESL and GenEd.

Hear Palmetto Bay Academy’s Success Story:
Find out How OrcamLearn is incorporated into teaching in the classroom and creates an inclusive environment
Palmetto Bay Academy has been the premier Miami-area non-traditional school for nearly 25 years. Founded on the principle that all students can be successful when they are treated as individuals, our proven record of success speaks to the need to move away from the traditional model for many learners.

Tim Stanton, Maggie Eubanks
2:15PM – 3:15PM Ensuring Fidelity in a Multi-Tiered System of Support Framework When implemented correctly and with fidelity, a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) serves to address the whole student prior to a referral for special education, many times halting inappropriate referrals. When implemented consistently, within a clearly defined framework MTSS can promote student progress across a wide realm of identified needs. Kristen Lech
2:15PM – 3:15PM What is Reading? A Renewed Focus for Professional Development to Support Students with Intersectionality of Dyslexia, Language and Culture. Typical fluency instruction, assessment, and interventions reinforce the importance of speed and accuracy, but students continue to struggle to comprehend. This dilemma is enhanced for students with intersectionalities of dyslexia, language, and culture. We propose a focus on professional development that challenges and supports educators to go beyond typical practices. Donna Herman-Kalwat, Deborah Augsburger
2:15PM – 3:15PM Sensory Savvy Supports: Understanding and Addressing Sensory Processing Needs in the Classroom In any given classroom, undesirable behaviors manifest continuously and randomly. For example, some students move constantly, make noises, or resist activities, while others seem oblivious to your instructions. These undesirable behaviors may be linked to sensory processing differences. Come learn about sensory processing and identify strategies to meet sensory needs. Angela Blackwell
2:15PM – 3:15PM Perspective Taking: A Teacher’s and School Psychologist’s View When Identifying and Supporting Students with Dyslexia Attendees will learn characteristics of dyslexia, what a student’s profile may look like from a psychoeducational evaluation, and interventions based on weaknesses presented. We will discuss how education professionals need to consider factors such as language, economic disadvantage, and students with gifted profiles. Kristen Killian, Trevour Schoeller
2:15PM – 3:15PM Growing Proficient Readers through Integrated Foundational Literacy Instruction Integrating phoneme awareness with grapheme names, sounds, and letter formation practice is critical for early reading success. Picture-embedded mnemonics are a research-based tool that facilitates this integrated approach and gets students reading after learning just two correspondences. Attendees will leave with knowledge and tools to implement the approach immediately. Megan Gierka, Nicole Kingsland
2:15PM – 3:15PM Increasing Student Engagement in Online Asynchronous Courses Technological advances have created myriad pathways for asynchronous online learning. Teacher preparation programs that utilize these formats increase access for non-traditional students who want to enter the special education teacher (SET) workforce or enhance their skills through graduate work. This presentation provides tools to increase student engagement in asynchronous courses. Alisa Hanson, Kristi Cheyney-Collante
2:15PM – 3:15PM Finding a career that fits your needs Participants will learn how to identify their strengths and weaknesses, assess their interests and abilities, and explore career options that are best suited to their unique needs. We will cover why it’s important to make a change and how you might be feeling about your current career path. Alexandra Gilbert
2:15PM – 3:15PM Translating Assessment Standards to Literacy Instruction and Intervention The Assessment Standards frame this presentation. The focus will be on the continuum of assessment and instruction/intervention in literacy. Critical assessments to understand the full picture of a student’s literacy knowledge will be discussed. Case studies of cognitive and academic abilities will be presented as we address areas needing remediation. Kristina Quinlan
2:15PM – 3:15PM Supporting Student Wellbeing: Trauma Informed Care Best Practices for the Classroom This session discusses (1) ACESs score and its impact on classroom behavior, (2) more common types of trauma experienced by students and how those may be manifested through social/emotional behaviors exhibited and (3) ten best practices to implement in the classroom to support student learning and emotional support. Tamar Riley
2:15PM – 3:15PM Dyslexia in the Media: Myths and Stereotypes Journalists have a key role to play in the production of public knowledge that frames the experiences of dyslexic people, including the challenges they face. This presentation looks at the myths and stereotypes of dyslexia in the media, and how these frames can affect experience in the school system. Andrea Hunter
2:15PM – 3:15PM Evaluations – The Legal Requirements The legal requirements for evaluation. Current cases and decisions. Janeen Steel
3:15PM – 4:00PM Chronicalling Development of Teacher Knowledge about Dyslexia during a Summer Reading Intensive This session explores how pre-service teachers developed self-efficacy through a practicum placement in a summer reading intensive. The pre-service teachers gained knowledge about dyslexia through the combination of coursework and intensive intervention placements with students with dyslexia. Deana West
3:15PM – 4:00PM Hand Delivered or Electronically Delivered Accommodation Letters? Perspectives of College Students with Learning Disabilities Many students continue to fall further behind due to years of negative outcomes associated with reading deficits. Their need for focused and intensive intervention is vital. Findings shared of a study of college students with learning disabilities regarding experiences with hand delivering accommodation letters to their professors compared to having letters delivered electronically on their behalf. The pros and cons of each notification procedure were explored for their impact on students, faculty, and campus accessibility offices. Kevin O’Connor
3:15PM – 4:00PM Cultural Considerations in Assessing Spanish-Speaking Children: A Case Study Highlighting the Importance of Acculturation and Language in Psychoeducational Assessments This case study emphasizes cultural and linguistic factors in assessing Spanish-speaking children’s educational needs. Evaluating a 7-year-old Hispanic male revealed that English fluency, rather than intelligence, impacted his educational attainment. The study underscores the importance of culturally responsive assessment and tailored resources for Spanish-speaking children’s educational development. Eduardo Molina, Alexandra Rodriguez, Alicia Carrillo
3:15PM – 4:00PM Intensifying Intervention for Students With Mathematics Difficulties This presentation provides teachers with guidance for how mathematics instruction could be intensified by starting with a validated intervention and adapting features for individual student scenarios. With this information, including suggested resources for additional support, teachers may use data-based individualization more effectively and improve their students’ mathematics achievement. Soyoung Park, Pamela Stecker
3:15PM – 4:00PM Assessment and Interventions with Individuals who are BIPOC/Latino/a/x/e and Twice Exceptional The purpose of this session is to highlight the needs and supports that must be considered for those who are both BIPOC/Latino/a/x/e and Twice Exceptional. We will review specific ways of both assessing/identifying and providing prevention/interventions for this population in the school community, classroom and at home. Melissa Laracuenta-Hernandez
3:15PM – 4:00PM Boosting Social Equity in an Integrated Literacy Intervention: An Application of Neuro-Semantic Language Learning Theory to Practice This presentation suggests an integrated model of literacy (IML) instruction that combines social equity concepts, decoding skills, and encoding processes at all levels in an interactive session. The results are explained by using a Neuro-Education Theory to examine the outcomes of skills learning and concept understanding on a continuum. Carol Lam
3:15PM – 4:00PM A Participatory Budgeting Approach to Preventing Learning Disabilities Related to Lead Poisoning Lead poisoning in children is a known cause of intellectual impairment, ADHD, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. Many communities are forced to deal with this issue on a local level. This presentation focusses on efforts to include community voice in bringing about change using a participatory budgeting process. Frank Ridzi
3:15PM – 4:00PM Lessons Learned: A Case Study from Tier 1 to Tier 3 Literacy Interventions In this lengthy and often contentious case study, attendees will follow the MTSS path including a special education assessment for a student who received literacy interventions. Learn about the challenges and process the IEP team faced in coming to an agreement on what services would be appropriate for the student. Michelle Krelic
4:00PM – 5:00PM What does the Science of Reading say about Text? Selecting Appropriate Text for Instruction for Students with Learning DisabilitiesWhat does the Science of Reading say about Text? Selecting Appropriate Text for Instruction for Students with Learning Disabilities Teachers may wonder which type of text to use with emergent readers. We will describe different types of texts and their potential uses with students at different phases of word reading development. We will also provide guiding questions to support teachers in this decision-making process. Paige Pullen
4:00PM – 5:00PM These are my needs: How to foster self-advocacy skills in students with LDs and ADHD More than just speaking up and asking for help, students with LD need self-understanding, a sense of belonging, and specific instruction to build self-advocacy skills. Join us to learn about activities, lessons and more for students, families and teachers to develop self-advocacy skills for students in Grades 7-12. Alison Parker, Candice Daiken
4:00PM – 5:00PM Using Progress Monitoring to Intensify Mathematics Instruction for Elementary Students With Disabilities: Procedures for Implementing Data-Based Individualization Presenters highlight features of progress monitoring in elementary mathematics and explain how graphed data are used in instructional decision making for determining when interventions should be modified or goals raised for individuals. Principles for intensifying instruction are discussed with applications made to scenarios of students with learning disabilities in mathematics. Pamela Stecker, Soyoung Park
4:00PM – 5:00PM Dyslexia: A Diagnosis in Privilege? The bridge to equity is literacy, yet access is not equal among communities. This disparity is a challenge to students, families, and educators. With appropriate awareness and outreach these challenges can be met at the local level until every child is able to receive scientifically based instruction and intervention. Rachel Arnold
4:00PM – 5:00PM Close the Gap Fast: Applying the Science of Reading Research to Instruction Learn how to apply the Science of Reading research to instruction to close the gap fast for struggling readers. By using the SoR research, we can make instruction more efficient and effective. Attendees will learn engaging teaching strategies and activities for immediate implementation. Jennifer Hasser
4:00PM – 5:00PM Cultural Influences on the Development of EF Skills: Strategies to Embrace and Lessons to Learn across Cultures. This presentation describes what is Executive Functioning and how cultural factors influence the development of Executive Functioning. Differences in cultural practices and how they contribute to Executive Functioning will be discussed. Cultural practices that can be embedded into classrooms and daily living to improve Executive Functioning will be explored. Annamaria Jerome-Raja, Srimani Chakravarthi
4:00PM – 5:00PM Untangling the mystery of the unused toolbox: Implications for policy and practice from a review of accessibility features and accommodations During this session, we will share the findings from a study on accommodation and tool usage on high-stakes assessments for students with and without disabilities. In addition, we will share how discussions with educators and local education agencies have impacted assessments moving forward. Shari Butler, Steve Noble
Session Time* Session Title Session Description Session Speaker
8:00AM – 9:00AM Preparing Teachers to Effectively Support Students with SLD: The Current State and What is Needed For students with SLD to succeed in today’s public schools, they need teachers who are prepared to provide them with special instruction that effectively addresses their diverse learning and social needs. In this session, participants will gain important insights into the current state of the preparation of teachers to effectively support students with SLD to successfully access the general education curriculum, factors that impact such teacher preparation, both facilitators and barriers, and what needs to happen to improve teacher preparation for students with SLD. David Allsopp, David Hoppey, Keri Fogle, Sarah Van Ingen Lauer
8:00AM – 9:00AM Help! I’m Failing Though I’m Smart: High School Students with Learning Disabilities Share their Experiences Navigating K-12 Public Education. Come hear directly from students! High School students in the LEAD program will capture you with their stories of navigating education with learning disabilities and what they have learned about themselves, the brain, education and specific learning disabilities. Get ideas and advice from the most important source – the kids! Sarah Rossi
8:00AM – 9:00AM Dyslexia and Math: A Diagnostic and Prescriptive Perspective Labels like dyslexia and dyscalculia may garner services, but do not define these services. The acquisition of numeracy involves the dynamic interaction between quantities, symbols, and the language used to represent them. The ability to connect quantities with their spoken and written labels predicts the development of arithmetic skills. Christopher L. Woodin
8:00AM – 9:00AM Draw your way through math: help students engage and make sense of calculations: tie it all together with number lines Students who struggle with math often have problems connecting concepts. The numerous types of visual representations may picture math as a series of unrelated topics to be memorized in isolation. To solidify understanding, number lines bridge the gap with other representations. Examples are presented to tie them all together. Anneke Schreuder
8:00AM – 9:00AM The Impact of Educational Diagnosis on Sense of Belonging and Learning Experience. Panel members will share stories of lived experience of the process of educational diagnosis and the impact and resulting shifts in their individual learning experiences that occurred. They will respond to questions from the moderator and audience members to build a deeper understanding of the process, support provided, and impact. Symon Hayes
8:00AM – 9:00AM Using Evidence-Based Practices to Maximize the Effectiveness of Intensive Reading Intervention Students with reading disabilities require more explicit, systematic, and intensive instruction than their typically developing peers. The use of evidence-based practices, including opportunities to respond, interleaved practice, and feedback can maximize the effectiveness of reading intervention. This session will examine these practices and provide examples of use within reading intervention. Valentina Contesse, Florence Bason, Deana West
9:15AM – 10:30AM Developmental Dyscalculia: What We Know and What We Do Not Know KEYNOTE SESSION Daniel Ansari
11:00AM – 12:00PM Post-Secondary Program Selection for Students with LD: A Unique Journey in An Ever-Changing Landscape This interactive discussion will feature conversations about why now is a great time for students with LD to pursue post-secondary opportunities and how to apply to schools/programs that are a great fit. Attendees will learn what supports may be available, including assistive technology, and how to access them. Kelly Scimone, Jessica L. Burke, Suzanne Crossman
11:00AM – 12:00PM Psychoeducational Tele-Assessment Innovation and Reading Disabilities This presentation will include the current state of the research/literature on best practices in tele-assessment (virtual and remote) of reading disabilities, as well as insights into innovations that can leverage technology to improve the diagnostic/identification process in the future. A. Jordan Wright, Taylor Templin-Viele
11:00AM – 12:00PM Shine On: Curating Inclusive Classroom Libraries in Light of Florida Policy We Need Diverse Books® and #representationmatters because culturally relevant texts offer more equitable opportunities for literacy development. We offer suggestions for educators to “shine on” curating inclusive classroom libraries in light of Florida policy. Kelley Taksier, Florence Bason
11:00AM – 12:00PM Disclosure: Discussing Learning Disabilities in College Essays This presentation highlights practices for deciding when and how to share information about identified learning disabilities as well as previous academic struggles within college essays. Guidelines for framing how experiences with significant academic challenges assisted in the development of strengths and a preparedness for the future will be shared. Claire Walter, Daphne Sajous-Brady
11:00AM – 12:00PM Micro-Internship Opportunities for Neurodiverse Learners in Higher Education In this session, we will demonstrate how college students participated in a unique micro-internship experience. Through intensive, interactive practice opportunities along with weekly career-based workshops, these students developed the necessary skills employers seek, including critical thinking, leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork. Alice Murallo, Laura Beplat
11:00AM – 12:00PM Journey with us: The How, What, and “Wow” from School Tours Centering Students with Disabilities or Learning Differences Ever wonder what other great classrooms across the country are doing? Discover firsthand the transformative impact of school tours as key tour organizers, host schools, and visiting educator leaders share their experiences. Learn how you can try tours such as these, or implement highlighted promising practices in your own school. Jackie Keenan, Aurora Dreger
11:00AM – 12:00PM How to Identify and and Support Students with Dyscalculia We will define dyscalculia, consider its consequences, and explore common signs at various stages. We will discuss number concept and number sense and how we might remediate them. We will look at best practices in developing mathematical concepts and procedures and discuss how to choose effective and efficient manipulatives. Dawn Frank
11:00AM – 12:00PM The LDA International SLD Mathematics Forum: Highlights and Future Directions In this presentation, participants will learn about the purpose of The LDA International SLD Mathematics Forum, the interdisciplinary nature of the forum, forum outcomes, and future directions. Participants will engage with presenters in a discussion about mathematics-related SLD and how LDA is working to elevate the discussion, research, and practice related to mathematics and SLD. Sarah Van Ingen Lauer, David Allsopp, Monica McHale-Small
11:00AM – 12:00PM Proper Dyslexia Identification and Leveraging Education for Social Justice During this session, participants will experience learning through the lens of a student with dyslexia. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of dyslexia and become inspired and motivated to take action at the classroom, campus, district, and/or community level. Karen Kohler, Kara Mowrey
11:00AM – 12:00PM Law Students with LD and/or ADHD Strategies for Success This session explores the coping strategies students with LD and/or AD/HD use in law school. The audience will be invited to contribute additional coping strategies employed by law students with LD and/or ADHD and propose areas for future research. Alexa Darby, Mary Knight-McKenna
11:00AM – 12:00PM Get Ready to Work: How Advocacy Creates Quality Careers Neurodiverse high school and college students are entering the workforce with little self-awareness and understanding of how to seek workplace support vital to their success. This session will discuss the empowerment of understanding strengths, needs, and rights and how to practically teach these to students through day-to-day experiences and tools. Hillary Adams, Hannah Dean-Searls