About Us


IDA Headquarters

Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, IDA has more than 13.000 members worldwide. Members and the public-at-large have access to local resources throughout more than 45 branches in the U.S., Canada and affiliate organizations around the world.

Ontario Branch

The Ontario Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (ONBIDA) is a non-profit charitable organization founded in June 2004. The branch is operated by volunteers, providing free information, support and referral services to the public.

Charitable Registration Number 85713 3078 RR0001

Board Members

Liisa Freure (President)

Liisa Freure, M.Ed., OCT, Fellow /AOGPE, CDT/IDA  has over 25 years of experience in the field of education in both public and private school systems.  Liisa’s initial interest in research-based interventions began when traditional methods of instruction failed some of the students in her classroom.  Then, after two of her own three children exhibited early signs of dyslexia, Liisa began to learn all that she could about strategies for intervention and remediation.  In addition to training with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators to become a Fellow, and becoming certified as an Education Advocate, Liisa continues to study language and expand her knowledge and skills including extensive immersion in Structured Word Inquiry. Liisa now runs a private educational consulting and tutoring practice for students of all ages and trains parents, teachers and other professionals in Structured Literacy.  She has been a presenter at local, national and international conferences and has been actively involved with the Ontario Branch of the International Dyslexia Association since 2007.  Liisa served as President from 2009-2012 and has once again joined the board as interim President.

Jill Kearney (Vice-president)

Jill Kearney is a certified IDA Dyslexia Practitioner and has Associate Level certification from the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.  Jill has a B.Sc. (Biology ) and an M.Sc. (Applied Statistics) and worked for over 30 years in environmental health research and risk assessment.  She became interested in understanding dyslexia when her son had unexpected difficulties in learning to read.  She now enjoys private tutoring and is often found looking at the latest scientific articles about reading and participating in workshops and webinars on dyslexia, assessment, effective interventions, fluency, morphology, etymology, assistive technologies, and other learning issues.  By working with ONBIDA she hopes to share what she has learned in order to help people with dyslexia, their families and educators.

Loretta Tang (Secretary)

Loretta Tang is the  Senior Services Specialist, Community Outreach & Engagement at the Toronto Public Library.  She holds a Master of Information Studies in Library and Information Science, from the University of Toronto. With over 7 years of professional experience in the public library, she has worked in several capacities promoting literacy and building capacity within the community. She is an advocate for literacy & education and strongly believes that educators and parents of dyslexics should have access to the appropriate training, support, and resources.

Yatin Dullabh (Treasurer)

Yatin Dullabh is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) with over 12 years of financial audit, IT audit and consulting experience. He is a highly accomplished Auditor Controls Consultant, and Accounting professional with a successful verifiable track record in corporate audit, IT audit, accounting, and business advisory services. He is well versed in performing controls gap analysis, and designing business process and system improvements. Yatin grew up in a household learning that those of us that are fortunate should always find means to help those that are less. He would like to give back to his community by dedicating his time and available skills and resources to the organization. He believes that education is the fundamental tool to growth and development, as individuals, as organizations and as communities. Early childhood identification of learning disabilities and intervention significantly improves in managing and addressing those learning disabilities.

Azza Daba

Azza Daba started out her career in the special education field. During that time, she began her journey as a lifelong learner and received a master’s degree in special education. Through her studies, she became fascinated by language and literacy acquisition, especially remedial pedagogy. Being bilingual has given her the opportunity to study the differences between two orthographies, which has lead to her deeper appreciation of the cognitive and linguistic demands of learning a language and its writing system. She has experience as a mainstream classroom teacher, a remedial tutor and an English as a second language teacher. She is a Certified Dyslexia Practitioner and currently runs her private practice of tutoring individuals with dyslexia. She enjoys and actively seeks further insight by staying informed about recent research and attending courses, conferences and workshops. Azza feels that joining the ONBIDA board provides a unique opportunity to participate in efforts to increase public awareness about dyslexia and improve services for individuals with dyslexia in Ontario. She believes that all educators should be informed about evidence based practices to help provide dyslexic students with a fair chance to succeed in their education.

Laura Crumb

Advisory Council

Stewart Burton

Stewart Burton is Vice Chairman and member of the Global Banking Operating Committee. He is responsible for senior client coverage and has extensive experience in investment banking, providing both financing and merger and acquisition advice across a broad range of industries. Stewart joined the Corporate Finance Department of RBC Capital Markets in 1986 after earning his MBA degree from the Harvard Business School. Stewart also holds an HBA from the University of Western Ontario. Prior to completing his MBA, Stewart earned his Chartered Accountants designation after spending three years with Ernst and Young. He is currently a Director of the Canadian Opera Company. Stewart has had a lifelong interest and commitment to literacy, and serves on the Advisory Council of ONBIDA.

Luc Corneli

Flemming Friisdahl

Flemming grew up with dyslexia that went unidentified until he was a teenager. After being diagnosed, Flemming moved to the Kenneth Gordon School for students with learning disabilities in British Columbia where he received specialized instruction. Flemming caught up 6 years of schooling in only 2 years. Now as a successful professional, Flemming is interested in giving back, particularly with young students and through ONBIDA’s Advisory Council where he hopes to connect the business community to ONBIDA’s work. Having spent the last 19 years with Thomas Cook Canada, Flemming has held a variety of positions in the company in both Ontario and Western Canada. Flemming is currently Vice President of Sales for all Thomas Cook Canada tour operator brands, and is now based back at the company’s Vancouver office.

Mark Foerster

Mark joined Munich Re in September 2000. Mark is responsible for all aspects of group operations including financial reporting and client servicing along with claims services for both lines of business – individual and group. Mark had 6 years of senior insurance management experience prior to joining Munich Re and 13 years of senior management/executive roles with a large financial institution. Mark began his insurance career in 1988 leading a start-up insurance operation within a large financial institution. Mark received his Honours degree in Business Administration in 1977 and a Masters degree in Business Administration in 1980 (both from the University of Western Ontario -Ivey School of Business. He completed the requirements for a Certified Financial Planner designation in 1997. Mark has taught part-time as a university instructor in Strategic Management. He has also served on numerous charity boards, and is currently Past Chair, United Way York Region. Mark is currently advising ONBIDA in Strategic Planning.

Jennifer Goudey

Jennifer Goudey joins the ONBIDA board with a wealth of knowledge in the field of children’s mental health and management skills. She has recently completed her PhD in School Psychology from the University of Alberta and is currently working with the Learning Disabilities Research Program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Her research interest is in the area of parent involvement and children’s reading development, with a focus on parents helping with their children’s reading at home. A current research project looks at the contributions that a home-based parent tutoring program has on children’s reading achievement.

Elie Roth

Elie Roth is a partner with Davies Ward Phillios & Vineberg LLP in Toronto, where he is a member of the the taxation law practice group. Elie advises on domestic and international tax planning, corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance, and also acts as counsel to a number of charitable and non-profit organizations. Elie has advised ONBIDA on charity and taxation law matters since the Ontario Branch was formed and assisted ONBIDA in its registration as a Canadian charity. In honour of Elie’s contributions to ONBIDA, a scholarship fund was set up in his name.

Sally Shearman

Sally Shearman was one of the founders of the Ontario Branch of the Ontario Branch of the nternational Dyslexia Association, serving as President from . Sally teaches Special Education and has been with the York Region District School Board since 1991. She was a member of the Advisory Panel for the National Early Literacy Strategy, a project of the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network (CLLRNet), and a member of the Advisory Panel for the Effective Reading Instruction Resource Kit, CLLRNet. She has served in a variety of positions at the local and national levels within IDA since 1999. Sally has developed and delivered many different workshops and teaching modules to raise awareness amongst education professionals of research-based classroom approaches to teaching individuals with dyslexia. Dyslexia runs in Sally’s family and she is passionate about making sure that all children receive research-informed literacy instruction.

Michèle Minor-Corriveau, Ph.D

Michele holds a M.Sc.S. degree in Speech-Language Pathology and a PhD in Human Studies, both from Laurentian University. Since 1998, she has worked with school-aged children presenting with speech and language difficulties and disorders. Michèle has been part of a writing team that partnered with the Ministry of Education’s Special Education Policy and Programs Branch to develop a document regarding oral language development in students from K-3. Michèle edited the French edition of the resource titled ” A Parent Guide to Supporting Success at School : Helping Students with Speech and Language Impairments”, an initiative from the Ontario Association of Families of Children with Communication Disorders. She is also the consultant for the French Speechtree project (speechtree.ca). Michele is currently an Assistant Professor at Laurentian University. Her research interests center around, but are not limited to, creating standardized procedures for assessment and intervention of speech and language disorders targeting the Franco Ontarian population. She is a member of the ONBIDA advisory board and she is always honoured to help promote the profession of Speech-Language Pathology and its relevance in the bilingual setting.