Judith R. Birsh, Ed.D., Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT), Qualified Instructor (QI). Dr. Birsh''s enduring belief that well-prepared, informed teachers are the major influence on effective instruction in the field of reading and dyslexia had its beginning in 1960, when she met her first student who, although 18 years old, read poorly. The quest to find answers to this puzzle led her to a master''s degree in remedial reading and a doctorate in reading and language at Teachers College, Columbia University. After training with Aylett R. Cox in Dallas, Texas, she became a Certified Academic Language Therapist and Qualified Instructor, founding and directing the Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills courses at Teachers College in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Program in Learning Disabilities. Since her retirement in 2000, Dr. Birsh has maintained her commitment to teacher preparation by editing the first three editions of Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, and co-editing the fourth edition with Suzanne Carreker, Ph.D. Dr. Birsh has given professional development workshops, consulted with private and public schools, written articles, and worked with students with dyslexia. In 2008, she received the Luke Waites Academic Language Therapy Association Award of Service and the Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award from The International Dyslexia Association.
Suzanne Carreker, Ph.D., CALT-QI, joined Lexia Learning in 2015 as Principal Educational Content Lead, where she spearheaded the curriculum design of a groundbreaking reading program for struggling adolescent readers. Her career includes 28 years at Neuhaus Education Center, a nonprofit organization in Houston, Texas. She co-edited the fourth edition of Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 2018) with Judith Birsh. In 2018, Dr. Carreker was the recipient of the Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Dyslexia Association for her commitment to excellence and advocacy for people with dyslexia.
Louisa Cook Moats, Ed.D., has published many book chapters, journal articles, and policy papers on reading instruction. Formerly Project Director at the District of Columbia Public Schools site of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Early Interventions Project, Dr. Moats is now an independent consultant and writer who specializes in the professional development of teachers of reading and writing. Dr. Moats spent the 1996-1997 school year as a visiting scholar at the Sacramento County Office of Education, where she authored and presented leadership training materials on early reading for the California State Board of Education. These materials are now required content in all of the professional development programs conducted under Assembly Bill 1086 in California. Dr. Moats received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College, her Master of Arts degree from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and her doctorate of education in reading and human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She worked as a teacher, neuropsychology technician, and specialist in learning disorders prior to her doctoral training. She was a licensed psychologist in private practice for 15 years in Vermont and a graduate instructor both at Harvard and at St. Michael''s College in Winooski, Vermont, where she developed innovative courses for teachers linking the disciplines of linguistics and reading education. Specializing in reading development, reading disorders, spelling, and written language, she has written and lectured widely throughout the United States and abroad. She has taught courses in teacher education at the Greenwood Institute in Putney, Vermont, and at Simmons College in Boston. Her publications include this text''s companion workbook, Speech to Print Workbook: Language Exercises for Teachers (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 2003); journal articles; book chapters; a classroom basal spelling program; a book titled Spelling: Development, Disability, and Instruction (York Press, 1995); and a book for parents, co-authored with Susan L. Hall, Straight Talk About Reading: How Parents Can Make a Difference in the Early Years (Contemporary Books, 1999).
Kay A. Allen, M.Ed., Ms. Allen served as Executive Director of Neuhaus Education Center from 2000 to 2007 and was Associate Director there from 1985 to 2000. She is a board member of the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) and is coauthor of Multisensory Reading and Spelling (Neuhaus Education Center, 1993). She received the Nancy LaFevers Community Service Award from the Houston Branch of The International Dyslexia Association in 2016.
Virginia W. Berninger, Ph.D.,
Dr. Berninger received her Ph.D. in psychology at Johns Hopkins University and has had a career informed both by translation science (bridging basic research and application to practice) and interdisciplinary contributions to assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, including instruction. As a professor at the University of Washington, Dr. Berninger has been the principal investigator of research grants on typical and disabled language learning funded by the
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and also the co-investigator of a research grant on math development and instruction funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This interdisciplinary research has been informed by Dr. Berninger''s prior teaching experience (in urban, suburban, and rural settings in general and special education and at the elementary and secondary levels); training in clinical psychology and experience as a licensed psychologist (in assessment of developmental and learning disabilities); and ongoing consultation with schools, teachers, and parents for more than 30 years. Her current efforts focus on evidence-based, treatment-relevant differential diagnosis of specific learning disabilities and professional development for teachers and other professionals in schools and outside schools who influence school practices.
Susan H. Blumenthal, Ed.D., specializes in psychoeducational evaluations and cognitive remediation for adults and adolescents with learning difficulties and academic work output problems. She started an innovative program at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy to train psychotherapists to work with adult patients with learning disabilities. In addition, she has trained teachers at Teachers College, Columbia University; Hunter College; and Manhattanville College.
Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan
is a bilingual speech and language pathologist, a certified teacher, dyslexia therapist, certified academic language therapist and a qualified instructor. She is the President of the Valley Speech Language and Learning Center in Brownsville, Texas and works with the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics at the University of Houston. Elsa has spent the last 2 decades working with national research teams designing assessments and interventions for English learners who struggle with learning to read. She has a passion for ensuring that every child in schools across the world has access to a highly qualified educator who can implement effective language and literacy instruction to diverse populations. Elsa has also dedicated her time and expertise to many organizations. She serves as the Chairperson of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities, she is a Past-Vice- Chairperson of the International Dyslexia Association, Past Chairperson of the Texas State Board for Speech Pathology and Audiology and Past Chairperson of the Texas State Dyslexia Advisory Board. She has also served as a board member of the Academic Language Therapy Association, Southwest Regional Education Laboratory and Texas Comprehensive Center at the American Institutes for Research. Elsa has served her local community as Co-Founder of Brownsville READS! She is recognized for her reading reform efforts at the local, state, national and international levels. Elsa has written many scholarly articles, curricular programs, and book chapters related to language and literacy development among English learners. It is her hope that pre-service teachers will have the opportunity to learn evidence-based practices for teaching literacy to all students, including those who are English learners and struggle with learning to read. Elsa has been recognized for her dedication to persons with dyslexia. She is the recipient of the Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Dyslexia Association, the Dr. Luke Waites Award of Service to persons with Dyslexia by the Academic Language Therapy Association and the Champion of Dyslexia Award by the Texas Education Agency.
Dr. Cheesman, who has worked in the field of dyslexia education since 1990, earned credentials as a Qualified Instructor of Academic Language Therapists at Columbia University and is certified as a Dyslexia Therapist by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). She has presented lectures and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, and Kuwait. An active member of the Global Partners of IDA, Dr. Cheesman received a Fulbright Specialist Grant to develop Institutional Accreditation Standards for dyslexia organizations worldwide.
Nancy Cushen White, Ed.D., is a Clinical Professor at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and a member of the UCSF Dyslexia Research Center Leadership Team; she also teaches classes in child and adolescent psychiatry. Since 1973, she has used multisensory structured language strategies to teach students of all ages. She worked for 40 years in San Francisco public schools as a classroom teacher, special education teacher, and program consultant in special education curriculum. Currently, Dr. Cushen White works as a Certified Academic Language Therapist, Board-Certified Educational Therapist, certified Slingerland teacher training course instructor, and dyslexia consultant in her private practice at the Dyslexia Evaluation & Remediation Clinic. She has been a Literacy Intervention Consultant and Case Manager for Lexicon Reading Center in Dubai since 2010. A member of the AB 1369 Work Group (California Department of Education) charged with drafting public school dyslexia guidelines required under the new law, Dr. Cushen White was also recipient of the 2007 Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award from The International Dyslexia Association (IDA), the 2014 Etoile DuBard Award of Excellence from the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC), and the 2016 Lucius Waites Award of Service from the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA). She has served as a national IDA board member and as President of its Northern California Branch. She is an IDA representative to the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities; editor of the Examiner, IDA''s monthly online newsletter; board member of IMSLEC and the Alliance for Certification and Accreditation; advisory board member for IDA''s Northern California Branch and for Parents Education Network (PEN), and an advisor for PENs student- organized, student- led SAFE Voices branch.
Carolyn DeVito, M.A., is a long- time professional in the field of early childhood education. She has worked with children ages 3â€“5 for more than 40 years. For the past 20 years, Ms. DeVito has been Master Teacher and Assistant Executive Director at the Montclair Community Pre-K, which is a National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)- accredited center. It is also one of 21 centers initially identified by the Center for the Study of Social Policy as an exemplary program in the Strengthening Families Initiative. Ms. DeVito is a member of the adjunct faculty at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, teaching courses in the field of early childhood education.
Mary L. Farrell, Ph.D., earned her Ph.D. at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU), where she directs the Center for Dyslexia Studies, through which FDU''s International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) and International Dyslexia Association (IDA)â€“accredited Orton-Gillingham teacher training program is provided. Dr. Farrell is also University Director of the Regional Center for Students with Learning Disabilities, a comprehensive support program for colleges students with learning disabilities. .
Katherine Garnett, Ed.D. founded Hunter''s learning disabilities graduate program in 1980. A year later, she launched the HC Learning Lab, nationally recognized in 1996 as an "Exemplary LD Program." Professor Garnett also developed the special education training for The Edison Schools and partnered with Uncommon, Achievement First, and Kipp charter systems. She has spearheaded grant programs; authored articles, chapters, and monographs; served on editorial boards; and consulted with a wide variety of public and private schools, K–12.
Monica Gordon-Pershey, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, is an associate professor in the School of Health Sciences at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a certified speech-language pathologist and holds a doctorate in language and literacy instruction. Her teaching and scholarship focus on language development and disorders. She is the author of over 130 articles, book chapters, and presentations.
Ms. Hennessy is an experienced teacher, diagnostician and administrator who currently works as a literacy consultant. Nancy has worked across grade levels K–12 with both general and special educators. While in public schools, she provided leadership in the development of innovative curriculum for special needs students and a statewide revision of special education code, and she led a state-of-the-art professional development program for all teachers. She is a former Wilson Language Lead Trainer and National Trainer for Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS; Sopris-West).
Nancy has delivered keynote addresses, workshops, and training to educators nationally and internationally on topics including professional development, strategic planning, and components of skilled reading and writing and dyslexia. She has also developed professional development offerings on reading instruction for the AIM Institute of Learning & Research and on dyslexia for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Most recently, Nancy has focused on delivering virtual and in-person professional learning opportunities focused on reading comprehension.
Nancy co-authored the second revision of Module 6 of LETRS, Digging for Meaning: Teaching Text Comprehension, and authored Chapter 15, â€œWorking with Word Meaning: Vocabulary Instruction,â€ in Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, fourth edition (Birsh & Carreker, 2018).
Nancy has held various positions for the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), including President, Branch Council Chair, and National Conference Chair. She also served on the National Joint Committee for Learning Disabilities. She is an honorary member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, the 2011 recipient of IDAâ€™s Margaret Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award, and the recipient of the 2012 June Lyday Orton Award from the North Carolina Branch of IDA (NCIDA).
Marcia K. Henry, Ph.D., brings more than 40 years of experience working in the field of reading and dyslexia as a diagnostician, tutor, teacher, and professor. Dr. Henry received her doctorate in educational psychology from Stanford University. Prior to her retirement in 1995, she was a professor in the Division of Special Education at San Jose State University, where she taught and directed the Center for Educational Research on Dyslexia. Dr. Henry taught as a Fulbright Lecturer/Research Scholar at the University of Trondheim, Norway, in 1991. Dr. Henry speaks frequently at regional, national, and international conferences on topics related to intervention strategies for dyslexic learners. She also writes for a variety of professional journals and serves on the editorial boards of Dyslexia and Annals of Dyslexia, the journals of The British Dyslexia Association and The International Dyslexia Association (IDA), respectively. Since retirement Dr. Henry has taught at the University of New Mexico, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She provides teacher training related to the teaching of reading and related language arts and consults with several school districts and states on informed reading instruction. Dr. Henry is the author of teaching materials for integrated decoding and spelling instruction. She is a past president (1992-1996) of the Orton Dyslexia Society (now known as IDA). She is a fellow of the Orton-Gillingham Academy and received the Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award from IDA in 2000. Dr. Henry now lives on Madeline Island in Lake Superior, where she spends much of her time writing. She volunteers as a tutor at the island two-room elementary school when needed. She compiled Dyslexia: Samuel T. Orton and His Legacy for IDA''s 50th anniversary in 1999.
Larry E. Hess, Psy.D. is a psychologist in independent practice who has more than 20 years of experience in assessing toddlers, children, adolescents, and young adults. He frequently speaks at conferences and seminars about assessment and learning disorders. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and of the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. He performed his clinical training at The University of Chicago Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and SUNYâ€“Stony Brook''s University Counseling Center and Child and Adolescent Program. He is a member of the International Neuropsychological Society, the New York State Association for Neuropsychology, and the National Academy of Neuropsychology.
Judith C. Hochman, M.A., M.Ed., Ed.D., is Founder and Chief Academic Officer of The Writing Revolution and is Founder of The Windward Teacher Training Institute in White Plains, New York. She is Former Head of The Windward School in White Plains, New York, an independent school for students with learning and language disabilities. Dr. Hochman was also Superintendent of Schools for the Greenburgh-Graham Union Free School District in Hastings, New York.
Betsy MacDermott-Duffy, M.S.Ed. is Director of Language Arts and Instruction at The Windward School and former Director of Curriculum Instruction at The Graham School, both located in Westchester County. She has published several articles in professional magazines, including Perspectives on Language and Literacy, the official publication of The International Dyslexia Association. She is also the author of the Teaching Basic Writing Skills Activity Templates, published by Voyager-Sopris Learning. In addition to serving as a consultant for educational companies, Ms. Duffy presents at conferences throughout the United States on reading, writing, and vocabulary strategies, as well as executive functioning and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). She is an International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) teacher trainer and holds a certification as a Dyslexia Practitioner. Ms. MacDermott-Duffy has a master''s degree in learning disabilities, is certified in advanced graduate study of staff development, and earned a master''s degree in school administration and supervision.
Eileen S. Marzola, Ed.D., received her doctorate in special education (with a focus on learning disabilities) from Teachers College, Columbia University. She taught for more than 35 years at every level from kindergarten through graduate school and has conducted numerous staff development trainings for those interested in improving instructional strategies for struggling learners. Dr. Marzola has been a keynote speaker and presented at many national and international conferences; she has published articles in professional journals and chapters in books about learning disabilities. She was honored by the New York State Federation of the Council for Exceptional Children with the New York State Teacher of the Year Award. Dr. Marzola is Past President of the New York Branch of The International Dyslexia Association and also served on its Board of Directors. She also served on the Board of Directors of Everyone Reading in New York and created and presented a webinar on comprehension for the New Jersey Department of Education.
Graham F. Neuhaus, Ph.D., is a faculty member of the Psychology Department of the University of Houston–Downtown, where she teaches, mentors students, and conducts research in the area of automaticity and reading fluency.
Lucy Hart Paulson, M.S., Ed.D., is a speech-language pathologist and literacy specialist with years of experience working with young children and their families and teachers in public school, Head Start, private, and university settings. She has a unique and broad- based perspective blending areas of language, literacy, and social communication together, resulting in effective and engaging learning opportunities for children and valuable foundations for teachers. She is the lead author of Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) for Early Childhood Educators, Second Edition (Voyager Sopris Learning, 2018); Building Early Literacy and Language Skills (Sopris West, 2001), a resource and activity guide for young children; and Good Talking Words (Sopris West, 1998), a social communication skills program for preschool and kindergarten. In addition, Dr. Paulson served on the faculty of the Communicative Sciences and Disorders Department at the University of Montana, sharing responsibilities for teaching, supervising, research, and service.
Eve Robinson, M.S.Ed., Eve Robinson is an experienced early childhood professional who has worked in the field for more than 30 years. She led an exemplary early childhood center, the Montclair Community Pre-K (MCPK), for 13 years as it became nationally and internationally known for its educational approach as well as its support of families. The MCPK was one of only 21 early childhood centers in the United States to be recognized as exemplary by the Center for the Study of Social Policy Strengthening Families Initiative. In addition, Ms. Robinson is a professor at Montclair State University and an appointed member of the Montclair Board of Education.
Jean Schedler, Ph.D., partners with schools to develop and implement sustainable reading workshops and school-based programs. As an Academy Graduate of Learning Forward, her work focuses on the intersection of reading curriculum and professional learning. Dr. Schedler is a former International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Branch President. Her experience includes classroom teacher, reading director in a private school for special needs, adjunct professor, and teacher trainer across grade levels. Dr. Schedler works nationally and internationally with schools, training centers, and educational organizations.
Robin Anderson Singer, M.A., prepares prospective teachers in early literacy, early childhood, and special education. She was the lead teacher of the Language Enrichment Program at Pascack Hills High School, an Alphabetic Phonicsâ€“based program, created by the Neuhaus Education Center, and also taught at The Stephen Gaynor School, early intervention services, and elementary school districts in New Jersey. She received her M.A. in the education of children with learning disabilities at Teachers College, Columbia University, and began doctoral studies in teacher education teacher development at Montclair State University in Fall 2017. She is the recent recipient of the NISOD Excellence Award, which honors exceptional work of community college faculty.
Lydia H. Soifer, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, and a faculty member of the Early Intervention Training Institute of the Children''s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center of the Montefiore Hospital Medical Center. As a parent educator, teacher trainer, and staff developer in public and private schools, mainstream, and special education schools, Dr. Soifer''s focus has been on the dynamic among the factors influencing a child''s ability to learn. Her approach is cognitive-linguistic in nature, with an emphasis on the role of both the teacher''s trained and conscious use of language and the student''s language abilities in effective teaching and learning. Dr. Soifer is a frequent presenter at national and local conferences and regularly offers courses on language, literacy, and learning, as well as training in her program, Classroom Language Dynamics.
Gloria Trabucco, M.A., has been an early childhood educator and administrator for 40 years. Opening Montclair Community Pre-K and developing its curriculum was one of the biggest and most rewarding challenges of her career. She is happy that the field of early childhood education and its teachers are beginning to get the recognition they so deserve.
Colleen Uscianowski, M.S., Ph.D candidate, is an experienced special educator and adjunct lecturer at Hunter College and Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a co- founder of Luminous Learning, a company that creates specialized math materials for students with disabilities. She is currently completing her doctoral degree in Cognitive Studies in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focus is on early childhood math and remediation for struggling learners.