Governance

IDA Ontario's Board of Directors is composed of volunteers who are united by a common priority: to support individuals with dyslexia in Ontario. Learn more about our dedicated volunteers.

Executive

Dr. Una Malcolm (President)

Dr. Una Malcolm is a passionate advocate for evidence-based reading instruction for all children. In addition to volunteering as the President of IDA Ontario, she is the Project Lead for ONlit.org. She believes deeply in the potential of all children, and in the transformative power of effective instruction to allow every child equitable access to all the benefits literacy affords.

Adam Schure (Treasurer)

Adam is very excited to be part of the IDA Ontario Board and to bring his experience with strategic and fiscal planning to this outstanding Organization.  He is the Vice President, Finance at GN Johnston Equipment Co. Ltd, Canada’s most significant sales and service provider of material handling equipment, and is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant.  Before working at Johnston Equipment, Adam was a Manager in the Assurance department at PwC with a significant focus on the Not-For-Profit sector. Adam has been actively involved in various non-profit organizations in his working career, most recently as a member of the Finance Committee for The Mustard Seed, Chairman of the Board for STAR of Hamilton, and Treasurer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel / York.  

Daniella Green (Secretary)

Daniella’s passion for dyslexia advocacy stems from beginning a research journey to discover the best way to assist her child after they were diagnosed with dyslexia.  She started her career in marketing, where she graduated from Advertising at Sheridan College and went on to attend Athabasca University for Administration. She is a Certified Bookkeeper (CIB) through Durham College.

Her ability to assist in furthering IDA Ontario’s mission is informed by over ten years of experience providing a broad range of corporate administrative, communication, and financial services. She is currently the Senior Manager of Administration and Finance of a software technology company that focuses on digitalization and the provision of learning applications focused on using immersive technologies. She wants to continue her lifelong commitment to learning, aid in disseminating information to dispel misconceptions about dyslexia, and create a cultural shift to embrace meaningful and impactful change for those affected by dyslexia.

Directors

Alee Attoe

Like many other dyslexia advocates, Alee’s journey started with a diagnosis of dyslexia for one of her children. Although her kids attended school in Canada, renowned for its robust education system, she was shocked to learn that schools were ill-equipped to teach children with dyslexia. Alee turned to IDA Ontario as one of her resources to do what many parents have done: diving into research and training to ensure her children would learn to read. As a parent, she found it difficult and expensive to find dyslexia resources, such as decodable books, to supplement her children’s education. She uses her networking, communication, and organizational skills to advocate for public access to decodable books and dyslexia resources at libraries and schools. Alee earned a B.A. in International Development Studies from York University and spent a decade as a financial advisor. As part of supporting her dyslexic children, she has taken RX for Reading, Writing, and Math courses with the National Institute for Learning Development (NILD).

Kathryn Hayes-Waldhuber

Kathryn is an Orton Gillingham-trained classroom educator with a passion for early literacy from the onset of her teaching career. Kathryn is a proud parent of a child with dyslexia, which further fueled her passion for advocacy and equitable reading instruction for all students. As a former program consultant supporting strategic priorities of all students reading by the end of grade 1. Kathryn facilitated and co-constructed the current HWDSB reading strategy rooted in the science of reading. She is a former DIBELS mentor who implemented and trained system-level staff in criterion-referenced screening.  Upon returning to the classroom, she used her knowledge of SOR to implement Structured Literacy into FDK. Kathryn is a current Acadience mentor and learning resource teacher in HWDSB. 

Melissa Klander

When Melissa Klander’s daughter was identified as dyslexic in grade 3, it fueled her to make a positive impact in the dyslexia community. In 2020, she volunteered her time and expertise to IDA Ontario, fully dedicated to supporting and advocating for individuals with dyslexia. In 2021, she was invited to join the board of directors of IDA Ontario.

Leigh Fettes

Leigh is an elementary French Immersion teacher living in Huntsville. Before becoming a teacher, she worked in healthcare as a respiratory therapist. Leigh has taken the Orton Gillingham Classroom Educator course, Reading Teacher’s Top Ten Tools (through IDA Ontario, and LOVED it), IDA Ontario’s Basics of Decoding and Spelling course, and Volume 1 of LETRS (currently working on Volume 2). She is trained in Acadience and IDAPEL and is an Acadience Mentor. Leigh enjoys supporting fellow educators as they learn about effective, evidence-based reading instruction for all students and is inspired by them as they shift their practices. She has seen what is possible when students are taught using a Structured Literacy approach and how this can change lives. Leigh would like all educators, including preservice teachers, to be trained in reading science and for all students to have access to teachers with this knowledge.

Shari Kudsia

Shari Kudsia is an elementary school teacher in the Toronto District School Board with over 20 years of experience. Initially trained in Reading Recovery, Shari recognized that many of her students and some members of her own family struggled to learn to read utilizing this program. This began her journey into Structured Literacy and Structured Word Inquiry.  Shari is certified with the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners & Educators (AOGPE) at the Classroom Educator and Associate Level. She has implemented Structured Literacy into her primary classrooms for the past five years. She has first-hand knowledge of how these methods make an incredible difference in the learning of ALL of her students.  Shari considers herself on a lifelong learning journey and is passionate about supporting change within educational institutions so all children can succeed with their self-esteem intact.

Stacey Rickman

Stacey is a school board speech-language pathologist passionate about developmental language disorder (DLD) and dyslexia. She has been registered with the Ontario College of Teachers and the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario for over 20 years.  Many students referred to Stacey for speech-language concerns also experience difficulty acquiring reading and writing skills. Much of Stacey’s work in Ontario schools involves assessing students with language-literacy disabilities and consulting their families and educators.

President Emerita

Alicia Smith

Alicia worked hard early in life to hide her dyslexia. Although she quickly took to computers that could disguise her challenges, her secret was discovered in high school after submitting her first essay exam. Fortunately, a caring teacher arranged for her to be tested, and she was allowed to write future exams on a computer, an accommodation that was not common then. Uncertain how she would manage post-secondary without this accommodation, Alicia enrolled at the University of King’s College in Halifax, where first-year students take oral debate-style exams. With written exams on the horizon for the second year, Alicia left university to pursue her passion for cooking. After training at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Alicia spent seven years as a chef aboard luxury yachts. In 2004, after settling down with her husband in a small town near Georgian Bay, she returned to school to study web development and computer science. After her first child was identified as dyslexic, Alicia became passionate about supporting him and changing public perception. She knew doing this would require her to do something she had hidden from her entire life. She actively started speaking openly about her own challenges to stand with her son and others facing similar experiences.

Advisory Council

Roby Hochman (Founder)

Roby Hochman was one of the founders of the Ontario Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. She also served as Vice President, Interim President, and Conference Co-chair.  Roby graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She worked at The Hospital for Sick Children and in private practice for over 35 years. Her initial interest in reading was piqued when she noticed a relationship between language development and literacy skills. Roby went on to obtain an MEd from York University, focusing her studies on the acquisition of written language skills, struggling readers, and methods of instruction. Following graduation, she attended courses, workshops, and conferences provided by the International Dyslexia Association, becoming a member of the Buffalo branch. Roby’s focus shifted to developing written language skills using evidence-based intervention methods. Interactions with colleagues, parents, and allied professionals led to an awareness that there was a need in the province for an organization to provide information, support, and advocacy for individuals with dyslexia, their families, and educators. With that goal, she connected with other members of the Buffalo branch, and two years later, in 2004, they established IDA Ontario. Roby has also served on the boards of both the Ontario and National Associations of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists and the Advisory Panel for the National Early Literacy Strategy, a project of the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network (CLLRNet). She has also served on charity boards.  Roby is retired from her professional practice. However, she continues to support IDA Ontario in its mission to create a future for all individuals who struggle with dyslexia and other related reading differences.

Sally Shearman (Founder)

Sally Shearman was one of the founders of the Ontario Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. 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 the Advisory Panel for the Effective Reading Instruction Resource Kit, CLLRNet. She has served in various positions at the local and national levels within IDA since 1999. Sally has developed and delivered many 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 ensuring all children receive research-informed literacy instruction.

Dr. Michèle Minor-Corriveau

Michèle est orthophoniste depuis 1998 et est professeure agrégée à l’École d’orthophonie de l’Université Laurentienne. Elle a travaillé auprès des enfants d’âge scolaire ayant des difficultés reliées au langage et à la parole. Par sa formation et ses recherches, elle est passionnée du partage des connaissances qui portent sur l’apprentissage de la lecture et de l’orthographe en français, en milieu minoritaire. On peut consulter son site internet pour en apprendre davantage sur ses conférences, ses publications, ses blogues et des ressources.

Jan Maclean

Jan MacLean, B.Sc.(O.T.), M.Sc. founded The Reading Clinic in Kingston, Ontario. Since 2001, the Centre’s YES! Reading, YES! Writing and YES! Math programs have helped hundreds of students achieve success. Jan is a Certified Orton-Gillingham Educator and Practitioner and an IDA Dyslexia Therapist.  Jan is also a previous board member of IDA Ontario.

Jill Kearney

Jill Kearney was Vice-President of IDA Ontario from 2016-2022. She wrote IDA Ontario’s submission to the OHRC Right to Read Report and was involved in many IDA Ontario projects including IDA Ontario webinars, workshops, and courses (i.e. Introduction to  Structured Literacy Instruction, and the on-demand Basics of Decoding and Spelling Instruction courses) and website development (including the online Professional Directory).   She is a certified IDA Dyslexia Practitioner with 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 a family member had unexpected difficulties learning to read.  She now enjoys private tutoring and often looks 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 IDA Ontario, she hopes to share what she has learned to help people with dyslexia, their families, and educators.

Joanne Bertrand

Joanne Bertrand is a certified IDA and CERI (Center for Effective Reading Instruction) Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist. She is also a certified Wilson Reading System Level 2 Instructor, a program based on the Orton Gillingham approach. Joanne is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. She began her career as a Child and Youth Worker and then went on to teach and be a school principal for 27 years. She obtained her Specialist Qualifications in Reading, Special Education, and French as a Second Language early in her career. Helping children and adults with dyslexia and their families is a priority for her. This is why she became a volunteer with IDA Ontario, contributing in many areas, most recently as Vice President and Chair of Webinars and Training.  Joanne posts French Structured Literacy Resources on OnLit.org for francophone and FSL students. Remaining current with research and information about effective structured literacy instruction and effective interventions helps her ensure that her students achieve their true potential as readers and writers. With IDA Ontario, Joanne hopes to bring structured literacy instruction to all students and educators in Ontario schools.