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Your Newsletter for April 2019
Join us at Kell's in Portland for a Membership Social this week !
Thursday, April 11th
Don't forget to join us at the Membership Social at Kell's this coming Thursday night. We have a special guest speaker, Todd "Hammer" Semmes.

Todd "Hammer" Semmes has worked in safety and stunt rigging, production management, and assistant directing on countless productions for over 20 years. From his extensive background in the film industry, Hammer easily transitioned into his current career as co-owner and operator of Spydercam.

Growing up dyslexic led Hammer to the creation of Spydercam. His abilities to "think outside the box" and on different spacial levels, makes him an essential part of such productions as Game of Thrones (Season 7 and 8), Dumbo, Mission Impossible Fallout, and over 90 other features!  

Hammer credits the way his brain works for these unique talents. Hammer will share his educational story and how he became an entrepreneur in the film industry (not to mention the winner of both an Oscar and Emmy).

If you have any questions, contact Elizabeth Dove

Multi-Sensory Course is in the spotlight
How hard is it to learn a second language? What about learning a second language when you are dyslexic? Now imagine that learning that new language is part of your family’s culture and religion. 

This is the problem Rabbi Tsvi Fischer and his sister, Rivky Katz, noticed with Hebrew. Learning Hebrew is essential to becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah in the Jewish faith. This is when a Jewish child becomes an adult by reading from the Torah (the Jewish Holy Book). However, learning Hebrew is different than learning Spanish. Hebrew is read right to left instead of left to right, uses different characters in its alphabet and does not use vowels in most of the text. Add to that we rarely hear Hebrew so there is very little exposure. 

Around 2000, Rivky Katz was teaching special education in regular school and was introduced to the Slingerland Approach for helping dyslexic students. Ms. Katz and her brother, Rabbi Fischer, started learning all they could about dyslexia remediation and the science behind language acquisition. They realized there was no equivalent program for teaching Hebrew using an Orton Gillingham (O-G) approach. Ms. Katz consulted with Dr. Sue Heinz and developed an O-G approach to teaching Hebrew. Out of this the Multisensory Course was developed. This course teaches teachers and tutors how to teach Hebrew using the most up to date research. 

In the past 2 decades, they have worked to advocate for a new way of teaching Hebrew. This method has slowly made its way into many Jewish Day schools and Synagogues. They have trained over a thousand educators. In addition, they have discreetly helped adults who never learned Hebrew gain the skills to read. Many of these adults were ashamed that they could not help their own children. 

They have now added a social skills course that is relevant to all teachers, not just those teaching Hebrew. This course helps adults (parents, teachers, and tutors) identify and address some of the social issues that are associated with learning differences such as bullying, depression and social awkwardness. 

To learn more about what they have to offer, look at their website
Pictured above: Rabbi Fischer addressed the IDA board meeting on March 19th. Board meetings are held on the third Wednesday of every month at Edison High School.
Each month this year we are featuring the valuable work being done by our members.
If you would like to be "In the Spotlight", please contact Christy .
Meet the staff of IDA home office
IDA - Oregon president, Jane Cooper, attended the Spring Branch Council meeting in Louisville, Kentucky at the end of last month.

Pictured to the left are staff members : David Holste - Chief Financial Officer, Anna Reuter - Director, Partner Assurance, Jane Cooper, and Sonja Banks - Chief Executive Officer.

Sonja Banks enjoyed a warm welcome to the organization as our new CEO. She addressed the meeting and outlined her plans to grow IDA as an organization poised to serve with excellence.

Our Mission is "To create a future for all individuals who struggle with dyslexia and other related reading differences so that they may have richer, more robust lives and access to the tools and resources they need."
IDA board members Danielle Thompson, Kate Franken, Tanya Haas, Christy Coss, Andrew Peterson and Jane Cooper at the IDA - Oregon table.
Attendees joined the event from Bend and other centers around the state via live remote connection.
Dyslexia: Connecting the science of reading with the practice of reading.

Dr. Joanna Christodoulou was the keynote speaker at this year's OHSU Brain Awareness Teacher Workshop on Saturday, April 6th.

IDA - Oregon partnered with O HSU's  Office of Science Education Opportunities The Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness  and the OHSU Brain Institute , to sponsor the event.

Dr. Christodoulou provided fascinating insights into the neuroscience of dyslexia. Among other things she described how appropriate intervention can alter brain function and structure.

For those who missed hearing her speak, a link to her presentation, along with her slides, will be posted to the OHSU Brain Institute website soon. Please follow this link to find previous OHSU Brain Awareness Teacher Workshop lectures.
In the afternoon, board member Jared Blank hosted Dr. Christodoulou, along with students, families and interested community members, at Edison High School for a discussion and Q & A session considering how dyslexic brains work and why they work the way they do.

Pictured below are, from left to right, Jared Blank, Betsy Ramsey, Dr. Joanna Christodoulou,
Danielle Thompson and Jane Cooper.
The following 3 papers may be of interest to those wishing to learn more about the research projects Dr. Christodoulou has been involved with.
Dispelling the Myth: Training in Education or
Neuroscience Decreases but Does Not Eliminate
Beliefs in Neuromyths
Impact of Intensive Summer Reading Intervention for Children With Reading Disabilities and Difficulties in Early Elementary School
Dysfunction of Rapid Neural Adaptation in Dyslexia
Assisistive Technology Demo Night
May 6 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Portland Providence Hospital 
4805 NE Glisan Street
Portland Oregon 97213

This interactive session will immerse you in the tools that support students with dyslexia. Participants will rotate between stations to see students giving live demonstrations on helpful technology such as: audio books, speech-to-text, multi-media note-taking, homework organizers, and Chrome extensions using phones, iPads, laptops, and more.

Teachers – Earn 2 Professional Development Units for FREE.  No additional paperwork necessary – certificates will be distributed at event.

Free Parking.  Suggested donation of $5 to assist with meeting costs.

This event is hosted by Decoding Dyslexia, Oregon and presented by the students and volunteers of our IDA - Oregon Branch. Please watch social media for registration.
Conference Corner

Are you interested in trying to get a scholarship or grant to attend the annual IDA conference?

There are scholarships for teachers and parents. Find information about grants that you or your schools may be eligible for.

The deadline for scholarship applications is May 31 . If you are interested, click here for more information.

Interested in volunteering for the upcoming conference? E-mail Christy at
Like our Facebook page to keep up to date on events and trainings; keep in touch and find out how you can support our work.
International Dyslexia Association, Oregon Branch | 503-228-4455 | |