2018 Annual Conference Program

Early Identification and Intervention Strategies

Saturday, November 3, 2018     8:30am - 4:30pm

Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Click here for more information and registration


8:30 – 8:40 a.m. Welcome 

8:40 - 10:30 a.m.


Keynote SpeakerDr. Nadine Gaab

Solving the Dyslexia Paradox: The Importance of Early Identification and Intervention

10:30 – 10:40 a.m. Student HonoreeMarcus Smith
10:40 – 11:00 a.m. BREAK (time for delegates to visit exhibitor booths)

BREAKOUT SESSIONS: attendees may choose sessions from either stream

Academic Stream Parent Stream
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.















What Makes "O.-G." "O.-G."?

Liisa Freure

Liisa will help attendees go beyond labels to understand WHAT practices and skills most
benefit ALL students and are especially
important for those who struggle with dyslexia. 

The term “Orton-Gillingham” is widely used by different people to mean different things, even
by those familiar with its history.  What are
the underlying principles of the O-G approach
and how might current research and evolving understanding of the structure of the English language impact practices.






The Moore Decision - A Personal Perspective. One family’s attempt to make the public education system accountable.

Rick Moore

In 2012, the Supreme Court agreed with Rick Moore that the failure of the public school system
to provide his son Jeffrey with the support he needed to meaningfully access the educational opportunities available to all children in British Columbia was discriminatory. The Court ordered the local board of education to pay damages and reimburse the Moores the cost of the specialized private education they incurred to successfully educate Jeffrey. 

Mr. Moore will be telling the story of his family’s
16-year court fight,  where they are now (his son Jeff is a fireman with the City of North Vancouver) and how and why, in spite of the Supreme Court
of Canada decision in Moore, the public education system still fails to meaningfully include dyslexic students.

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. LUNCH
1:15  – 2:30 p.m.
















Early Intervention Strategies for the Prevention of Reading Failure – A Collaborative Approach

Jan MacLean, Emily Moorhead, Heather Giffin, Joanne Mace & Jennifer Harrison (Kingston Reading Clinic)

This workshop describes a collaborative approach among a private dyslexia clinic, a classroom teacher and support in a school setting. This presentation will give a brief introduction as to how this private/public collaboration arose, and then focus on the Early Intervention practices that have been put in place by a classroom teacher, and those by a Literacy Consultant and Speech and Language Pathologist consulting to a variety of schools. These Early Intervention practices are based on what we know are essential for dyslexic students, but are also known to provide a strong instructional base for all students learning to read. This presentation will be of interest to classroom teachers and also administrators.


Early Identification and Intervention: How Families Can Help Young Children Become Strong Readers

Amy Murdoch, PhD

Research has confirmed that early intervention is key to both preventing and reducing the effects of reading difficulty. This session will explore what parents can do to help their children become successful readers. The session will provide an overview of the research that guides robust early reading instruction, assessment, and intervention support. We will explore language and reading development during early childhood, as well as the early signs of concern and how parents can address these concerns. Participants will be shown a variety of early literacy activities and resources that they can use at home to support reading development. The session will conclude with a discussion about the formal evaluation process used to determine a reading disability with a focus on what parents can expect in terms of testing and process.


2:30 – 2:45 p.m. BREAK (time for delegates to visit exhibitor booths)
2:45 – 4:00 p.m.





































Making Sense of the Written Word through Structured Word Inquiry (SWI): Coming to Terms with Research and Practice

Peter Bowers

Dr. Bowers introduced the phrase “structured word inquiry” (SWI) in a Grade 4/5 vocabulary instructional study (Bowers and Kirby, 2010) to describe scientific investigation of the English spelling system in an instructional context. SWI reflects the linguistic understanding that English spelling is a well-ordered system for representing meaning (see C. Chomsky, 1970) that can only be understood when the interrelationship of morphology, etymology, and phonology is taken into account. All meta-analyses about morphological instruction found that including morphology in literacy instruction benefits learners in general and that that less able and younger students gain the most. This is in direct contrast to decades of assumptions that phonological factors must be taught before morphological factors are included. There is little direct research evidence about SWI, but what we do have and the evidence about morphological instruction suggests it should be effective compared to isolated phonics instruction. A key aspect of SWI is that it uses explicit instruction of grapheme-phoneme corres-pondences from the beginning of instruction, but unlike “phonology first” approaches, it targets these abstract linguistic structures from within the meaningful context of related words. By reflecting morphological and etymological constraints on spelling from the start words like <does>, <one>, <jumped>, <sign>, <because> and countless others can be understood. Far from reducing attention to phonology, SWI provides explicit instruction about how grapheme-phoneme correspondences work.
In this talk, Dr. Bowers will model how the linguistic tools of the matrix, the word sum and IPA in grapheme-phoneme diagrams are used in classrooms to make sense of how spelling works, and how to use this knowledge in the context of reading, vocabulary and spelling instruction. Dr. Bowers will model SWI investigations from teachers and tutors around the world to help you understand English spelling and he will address where SWI sits in the research today.





Supporting your Child’s Learning through Assistive Technology

Rachel Berger

This session will showcase how Microsoft applications are being enhanced with tools that support easier creation and consumption of content for users with learning differences such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, emerging readers, or a combination of any of the broad range of unique student abilities.   Details and demonstrations will be shared about several new and improved sets of features across Microsoft products.

  • Office Lens
  • Immersive Reader
  • EDGE support for Read Aloud everywhere, and additional support for Learning Tools in ePub and Reading views.
  • OneNote Learning Tools support on iPad, PC, and Mac
  • Word Learning Tools support on iPad, iPhone, PC, and Mac
  • Outlook support for Read Aloud on PC

In addition to the Learning Tools support that
has been added across the Microsoft ecosystem,
the Office applications have also received improvements to spelling, grammar and
dictation tools.

Details and demonstrations on these new proofing tools include:

  • Spelling suggestions get definitions or synonyms, to help disambiguate
    between choices
  • Grammar issues get clear explanations, to help everyone including English language learners
  • Suggestions can be read aloud, which particularly aids comprehension by
    dyslexic users
  • A new spelling/grammar overview pane with flexible workflow choices that allows users to spend their time more purposefully, which draws attention to elements of good writing, and which shows a categorized overview of writing enhancements.
  • Built-in support for Word Prediction, to further reduce the cognitive overhead associated with writing tasks, and allow users to focus on their amazing content.

These tools do more than allow users with dyslexia to better understand the content they are reading and find the right words when creating content; they enable everyone to become better readers
and writers.

4:00 – 4:30 p.m.


Panel Discussion
Q & A with all Conference Presenters
4:30 p.m. Closing Remarks