Click on each event for more details.

Events sponsored by Decoding Dyslexia CA (DDCA) are indicated on the events calendar.  Local events held by other organizations may also be listed that may be of interest to our members. DDCA does not endorse any specific program or company.

Has Handwriting Become an Instructional Dinosaur? Handwriting May Be More Important Than You Think! @ Online Webinar
Nov 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

CEU Certificate available for $10.00

Presented by Nancy Cushen White, Ed.D., BCET, CALT-QI

Manuscript, cursive, and keyboarding have advantages at different ages.Handwriting involves both cognitive and motor skills—and influences reading, written expression, and critical thinking. Sequential hand movements activate brain regions associated with thinking, working memory, and language. A note-taking study showed better comprehension and retention of content for handwriters. Elementary students composing by hand wrote faster, longer pieces with more ideas. Cross-disciplinary research demonstrates effectiveness of explicit, integrated handwriting instruction from kindergarten to high school.

 In this session, attendees will learn that handwriting is a written language skill—not just a motor skill. They will learn at which ages and stages the use of manuscript, cursive, and/or keyboarding is most likely to be an advantage for various students, and will be able to give examples of strategies for integration of handwriting and keyboarding instruction into the teaching of reading and written expression.

About the Speaker:  Dr. Nancy Cushen White has 40+ years of experience in public schools as a classroom teacher, special ed teacher, and program specialist in San Francisco Unified School District. She works as a certified academic language therapist, a board certified educational therapist, and dyslexia consultant in private practice. She is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics-Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine-University of California-San Francisco. She is a member of the Board, member of the Faculty Senate, and a certified teacher training course director for the Slingerland Institute. She has taught literacy skills classes to young adults in the Pre-Trial Diversion Project through the Mentor Court Division of San Francisco Superior Court. She is a Literacy Intervention Consultant and Case Manager for Lexicon Reading Center in Dubai–United Arab Emirates. Nancy was a member of the AB 1369 Dyslexia Work Group assembled by the California Department of Education (CDE) to draft public school dyslexia guidelines required under the new law. 

 Nancy is a past member of The IDA Board of Directors and past president and current advisory board member of the Northern California Branch of IDA. She serves as an IDA representative to the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD). Currently, she is the editor of the Examiner, IDA’s monthly on-line newsletter. She received the Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Dyslexia Association in 2007.

This webinar will be recorded and available to view on IDA-UMB’s website after the event. If you register, you will be notified when the recording is available. 

Discovering the Sense in English Spelling: The Foundation of Literacy for Every Student @ Online Webinar
Dec 4 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

CEU’s available for $10.00

Presented by:  Timothy T. Houge, Ph.D. and Sue Hegland

If you care about literacy, you must have asked yourself this question at times: is it possible to structure literacy instruction to excite, challenge and empower all students, from the dyslexic reader who is struggling to the strong reader who is flying? It is actually possible to do this, and it’s also possible to make sure that each and every student becomes fully literate. But to make these things happen, we must rethink some misunderstandings about the structure and purpose of written English. This presentation will include an overview of the some of the foundational patterns in our completely coherent English writing system, along with examples from dyslexic and non-dyslexic student work. Join us for an introduction to the difference this can make for students at every level.

This talk was previously presented as the keynote at the Oct 4 “Literacy for All: Understanding Language, Learning and Dyslexia” conference in Sioux Falls, SD.

About the Speakers:  

 Timothy T. Houge, Ph.D. is an associate professor of elementary and secondary reading at Northern State University and the director of a campus one-to-one literacy-tutoring clinic. He has published multiple journal articles and presented his work at national, state, and local conferences. A long-standing advocate for effective reading and spelling education for all children, he has actively promoted the use of research to inform instruction. He has been a classroom teacher and a pull-out reading specialist, removing students from mainstream classrooms for a portion of the day to provide intense specialized reading instruction.

Sue Hegland is trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach and has extensively studied real spelling and Structured Word Inquiry. She is the author of the website  Sue’s mission is sharing information about the coherence and structure of the English language and the fact that spelling always makes sense.  She serves on the Board of Directors for the International Dyslexia Association, Upper Midwest Branch, and spent six years on the Board of Education for the Brandon Valley School District. She has served on a dyslexia workgroup for the state of South Dakota, has presented at Special Education and dyslexia conferences, and provides tutoring and training for teachers, private tutors, parents and students. Sue began learning about dyslexia in 2003, as the parent of a dyslexic child.


This webinar will be recorded and available to view on IDA-UMB’s website after the event. If you register, you will be notified when the recording is available. 

Organization & Planning: Executive Function Strategies for Middle and High School @ Children's Health Council
Dec 12 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Why is middle school and high school challenging for so many students? There is so much to manage–from keeping track of assignments across multiple classes and teachers to time management to organizing materials. In this class, parents will hear from CHC Executive Functioning expert, Vanessa Fasoli, ACC, about strategies and tools you can use with your child to promote effective organization and planning skills.

Speech and Language Bootcamp: What’s the Connection to Literacy? @ Online Webinar
Jan 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Speech and Language Bootcamp: What’s the Connection to Literacy?

Presented by:  Jane Heinemeyer, MA, CCC/SLP

The connections between spoken and written language are well established, yet there is much confusion recognizing when a language deficit is present, and understanding the ins-and-outs of language. This presentation will review the basics of speech and language, their relation to literacy, and offer suggestions to help support those with speech and language deficits.

Participants in this presentation will improve their understanding of the parameters of speech and language and the relationship between language and literacy. They will learn signs of language deficits and how to support those with underlying speech and language deficits.

About the Speaker:  

Jane Heinemeyer has been a faculty member at the University of South Dakota for 25 years, where she serves as the Clinical Director of the USD Scottish Rite Children’s Clinic, and she has been a practicing speech language pathologist for 35 years. During that time, she has worked with students with a wide variety of disabilities in many different settings. She has particular experience and interest in language-based learning disabilities across the lifespan, and has been a pioneer in the identification of dyslexia in South Dakota.

This webinar will be recorded and available to view on IDA-UMB’s website after the event. If you register, you will be notified when the recording is available. 

Raising Children with Dyslexia: Academic and Social Skills for Success @ Irvine Hebrew Day School
Jan 10 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

In this presentation participants will have the opportunity to experience the impact dyslexia can have on academic and social skills during an abbreviated simulation. Following the simulation the presentation will cover the basics of dyslexia including appropriate and effective interventions and accommodations. A short question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Presenter Bios:

Kelli Sandman-Hurley, Ed.D. is an author and co-founder of the Dyslexia Training Institute. Dr. Kelli is a certified special education advocate assisting parents and children through the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and 504 Plan process. Dr. Kelli has studied Structured Word Inquiry, the Orton-Gillingham approach, Lindamood-Bell, RAVE-O and Read Naturally. Dr. Kelli is a Past-President of the San Diego Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. She is a dyslexia consultant working with schools to improve services offered to students with dyslexia and training teachers. She co-created and produced “Dyslexia for a Day: A Simulation of Dyslexia,” and she is a frequent speaker at conferences. She is the author of the well-received book, Dyslexia Advocate! How to Advocate for a Child with Dyslexia within the Public Education System and is currently writing a book about spelling.

Tracy Block-Zaretsky is the co-founder of the Dyslexia Training Institute. She has provided remediation for children and adults with dyslexia for the past 20 years and has developed and taught workplace and family literacy program. She is a certified Special Education advocate assisting parents and children through the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and 504Plan process. She is a past President of the San Diego Branch of the International Dyslexia Association.Tracy has studied Structured Word Inquiry, the Orton-Gillingham approach, Lindamood-Bell programs, Read Naturally and a variety of reading and writing assessments. She co-created and produced, “Dyslexia for a Day: A Simulation of Dyslexia,” and has provided professional development for educators and training for parents at numerous conferences, private on-site trainings and online courses and webinars. Tracy is also a parent of a child with dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADD and Executive Function Disorder.

*In order to support this event, a suggested donation of $10 at the door is much appreciated*

Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Conference @ Oakland Scottish Rite Center
Feb 8 @ 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

A one day, hands-on, special education workshop designed to meet the needs of parents and professionals serving children and teens with disabilities. Perfect for educators, healthcare providers, advocates and attorneys. This program is not disability or state specific.

For more information (parking, accommodations etc):

Each ticket includes:

  • Wrightslaw book set ($63 value) – Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition and Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
  • Sandwich lunches and all-day tea/coffee bar

Early Bird Discounts until January 7, 2018*

*Early Bird registrants will also receive emailed pdf copies of Wrightslaw Special Education Law, 2nd Ed. and Wrightslaw: Special Education Legal Developments and Cases 2016 which retail for $29.95.

Experience Dyslexia @ Stellar Academy for Dyslexics
Feb 10 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Learning Disabilities Simulation Workshop

Attention, teachers, parents, and anyone who has an interest in understanding dyslexia. Please join us for a learning disabilities simulation workshop on Saturday, February 10 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Stellar Academy for Dyslexics. The cost is $15 per person in advance or $20 at the door. Please see our learning disabilities simulation workshop flyer for more information.

Dyslexia and Literacy: Differences Within Differences @ UCLA Luskin Conference Center
Feb 15 @ 7:30 am – 3:00 pm

This conference is designed for teachers, practitioners and parents to help them learn to identify, understand, and provide evidence-based teaching for students who have dyslexia and dyscalculia.Participants will learn the latest genetic studies as a basis for understanding current practices for assessment and intervention. The focus of these discussions will be for school-age students.

Conference Agenda

7:30 – 8:45 a.m.


8:45 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.


Neurological Differences in Dyslexia and Literacy

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Laurie Cutting, Ph.D.

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
TDF’s Hans Christian Andersen Award Presentation & Break

2017 Recipient: To Be Announced

Issue Differences Among African-American Students

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Nicole Patton-Terry, Ph.D.

Dyslexia and English Language Learners: The Variations among Different Learners

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Penelope Collins, Ph.D.

12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Foundation of Reading Acquisition and Dyslexia: Implications for Early Intervention

1:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Barbara Wilson, M.Ed.

Closing Remarks

2:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Joan Mele-McCarthy, D.A., CCC-SLP


Feb 22 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Bringing DIBELS Data to Instruction is a 2-day collaborative learning experience where teachers learn how to leverage data, pinpoint skill deficits, and apply hands-on intervention strategies.

Click Here for workshop information.
Thursday, February 22, 2018:  Grades K-1

Friday, February 23, 2018: Grades 2-6
8:30 am – 3:30 pm (Sign-in: 8:00 am – 8:30 am)
Note:  DIBELS experience is not necessary.
Teacher Ed: Dyslexia and Learning Differences in the Classroom @ CHC
Mar 6 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Are there students in your classroom that struggle with learning? Perhaps those students have a diagnosed or undiagnosed learning issue. In this teacher ed class, you will learn more about the types and signs of learning differences and the impact they can have on a student’s social and emotional well-being. Plan to attend so you can hear about classroom strategies that work and how you can create a supportive classroom environment for students with learning differences. Presented by Jeff Kozlowski, Head of Sand Hill School at CHC.

Jeff Kozlowski, Head of School

Jeff KozlowskiJeff Kozlowski has over 20 years of experience as an educator and champion of students, families and teachers. Before joining Sand Hill School, Jeff was Head of School at Fusion Academy in Walnut Creek. For Jeff, kids have always come first, and he wanted to be a teacher early on. He holds a Bachelor of Science in history and in special education, and he has a Master’s degree in educational leadership. He has been a mentor, a teacher, a school principal and Head of School at several locations—Principal at New Haven Youth and Family Services in Southern California working with at-risk adolescent boys, Director of Special Education at The Winston School in San Diego working with bright kids with learning differences. Jeff supports the promise and potential of every child and believes that “Every student is carrying something you can’t see.”