Dyslexia is HOT!

Thank you for the HEAT!
The month of October provides a special focus on dyslexia and a platform to share a dyslexia message with the larger community. Decoding Dyslexia Maryland is thrilled to announce local and national events that focus attention on dyslexia and celebrate Dyslexia Awareness Month. Whether you change your profile picture, attend a webinar, workshop or dyslexia simulation, your involvement to raise dyslexia awareness is welcomed and appreciated!

Below are just a few of the many events happening around Maryland and across the country during Dyslexia Awareness Month. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and additional information throughout October.
  • DDMD Frederick County will offer a Dyslexia Simulation and Resource Fair on October 17, 2019 at the Urbana Public Library. The Resource Fair is from 6 pm to 6:45 p.m. with the Simulation to follow. There will be a drawing to win great resources. Reserve your spot today -- seats are limited. Please click the link to RSVP and to find additional information on the chapter's Facebook page.
  • The International Dyslexia Association is providing weekly themes and Facebook  Awareness Month frames.  Click on these links to access #StepUpforDyslexia and #DyslexiaAroundtheWorld.
  • On October 9, 2019 The Summit School is hosting a Community Talk: Dyslexia Myths and Truths. Click here for more information.
  • On October 22, Voyager Sopris presents a NEW podcast from Emily Hanford entitled: "American Schools are Failing Kids with Dyslexia: What Can We Do About It?  Sign up today for the broadcast.
  • The Dyslexic Advantage provides suggestions on ways to promote positive dyslexia awareness this month. Ideas include having conversations with peers and sharing resources. 
  • All month long, the National Center on Improving Literacy will promote dyslexia awareness by offering parents, teachers, and policymakers resources that will help them understand and address dyslexia. NCIL will be releasing new dyslexia resources and using the hashtag #DyslexiaAwareness. The website includes the PDF document, Dyslexia Screening Guide.
Decoding Dyslexia MD 

Chapter Meetings, Events & Advocacy

Harford County: Lauren and Cali Stouten, Kathleen Khoury and Jaclyn Paris enjoyed sharing information about Decoding Dyslexia MD Harford County at The Back To School Youth Conference on August 31st 2019.  Thank you Caitlyn Davis from Empower Girls for welcoming DDMD Harford!

NEXT MEETING: The chapter will host a meeting on October 9, 2019 from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Highlands school. 
Baltimore City: Decoding Dyslexia MD, Baltimore City Chapter leader, Winifred Winston, along with Liz Hembling from Baltimore County, recently appeared on Street Legal Radio's show, "Style & Substance" to discuss reading challenges in Baltimore City Public Schools.  Visit the chapter's Facebook page to watch the on-air segment and to see additional public engagements with DDMD Baltimore City members.

Recently, co-leaders Ginger Hanson, Camilla Whitehead, and Winifred Winston hosted a table at the district's Special Education Fair. 

Baltimore CountyImage may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standingDecoding Dyslexia MD - Baltimore County members, Liz Hembling, Karleen Peterson Spitulnik, and Tami Karwacki had the opportunity to meet with Baltimore County Public Schools’ new Superintendent, Dr. Darryl Williams and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Mary McComas.

The group discussed previous and current efforts to work together, reading in the general education classroom, the Ready to Read Act, orthographic mapping, and Emily Hanford’s most recent podcast on reading, “At a Loss for Words.” DDMD - Baltimore County is grateful for the partnership and collaboration with Baltimore County Public Schools and looks forward to working together to move the reading needle for all BCPS students.


Carroll County: Advocates Needed!  Chapter Leaders are looking for Carroll County parents, students and/or educators who care about reading and dyslexia. The Carroll County Decoding Dyslexia Maryland chapter provides workshops on dyslexia, supports parents in their dyslexia journey and advocates with Carroll County Public Schools on dyslexia practices. No experience needed -- just an interest in dyslexia and reading!

Contact Karen and Raelene to learn more about the opportunities. At the end of the month, chapter leaders are scheduled to meet with the school district to discuss screening and interventions to help struggling readers and students with dyslexia.

Howard CountyDDMD Howard County members spoke during the recent public testimony portion of the September 19, 2019 meeting of the Howard County school board. Parent advocates addressed the use of Fountas Pinnell as a benchmark for reading in HCPSS and the lack of evidence that this type of instruction is effective and evidence based for students with dyslexia.  The chapter has plans to meet during the month of October. 

Connect with your local chapter leaders!

Update on the Kirwan Commission's

"Blueprint for Maryland's Future"


The Blueprint for Maryland's Future, Funding Formula Workgroup met on three occasions in September. 

Download the meeting materials and review past meetings to DDMD Harford County Chapter Leaders Jaclyn Paris and Lauren Stouten with Kirwan Chair, Brit Kirwanstay informed on the activities that will influence the next 20 years of education in Maryland. View the videos of the meetings to gain an understanding of the important questions and issues discussed by the members.

The Funding Workgroup will meet again:

October 8, 2019
10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

DDMD will continue to follow the Funding Formula Workgroup sessions and will post relevant information and any requests for action in our newsletter and on our Facebook page and website. Thank you for your attention to this important issue. 

Link to the Kirwan Commission and Workgroup
Why We Support the

Blueprint for Maryland's Future 


DDMD is a member of The Coalition for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. The Coalition is hosting community forums across Maryland to help citizens understand the Education Blueprint legislation enacted in 2019 (SB 1030) and to help citizens understand the need to fund the Blueprint.

"Now we need legislators to fulfill their promise to fix the school funding formula (which is nearly 20 years old!) and guarantee adequate funding for our public schools for the long term."

Education is a critical component of Maryland life -- without adequate funding, some children will receive a free and appropriate public education and others will not. Students from all backgrounds should be able to attend an effective, well funded school with effective, well compensated educators. The Blueprint includes an Education Inspector General with audit and subpoena powers to ensure spending accountability; however, to stand up this office, the Blueprint must first be funded.

The Blueprint also includes a community schools model (connecting schools to community resources like health care, food and mental health services), pre-kindergarten for 4 year old students (phased in), educator raises and career retention solutions, increased funding for students living in poverty and for special education, as well as new funding to address instruction for students who are not learning to read.  

 Why do we need these reforms? Across the state, educators, parents, and students are already feeling the impact of the school funding gap — and it’s costly.

  • ~60% of Maryland students cannot read proficiently which disproportionately impacts vulnerable student populations, including students with disabilities like dyslexia. The Blueprint provides funding for intensive reading help for struggling students AND provides funds for early reading screening to prevent reading difficulties.
  • Maryland teachers make 84 cents on the dollar compared to peers in similar fields with similar levels of education. Right now, half of educators work a second job to make ends meet.
  • 94% of educators buy school supplies for their students out of their own pockets.
  • Career technical education (CTE) can play a key role in preparing students for the jobs of the future and in helping our economy—but far too few schools have modern CTE facilities and programs.
  • The number of students receiving special education services has increased drastically, and special educators are already severely overworked.
  • Our schools simply don’t have enough counselors and psychologists — crucial mental health resources for all of Maryland’s students. Many counselors and psychologists have two or three times the industry-recommended caseloads.
  • When the school funding formula was written, about one in five Maryland students came from backgrounds of poverty. Today it’s nearly half of students. The opportunity gap is growing — we need to create lasting educational equity and a fairer and more prosperous future for all of our students and communities

Maryland needs a long-term funding commitment that is sustainable so every student in every neighborhood gets the academic and social support they need.

Please attend a community forum in your neighborhood—visit to find the forum closest to you and RSVP and learn more about how your tax dollars can support public education.

For More Information:
Join the efforts of The Coalition for the Blueprint for Maryland's Future

Dyslexia Events & Resources


Ready to Read Act Sponsors to be Honored
The Siena School hosts its 14th Annual Fall Celebration and Awards this month. The event will honor Senator Craig Zucker D-Montgomery District 14 and Delegate Eric Luedtke D-Montgomery District 14 in recognition of the enactment of the Ready to Read Screening & Interventions law. The celebration will take place on Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Silver Spring Civic Center. 

Dyslexia Advocacy

There are many great resources to help families and educators navigate Pk-12 for students with dyslexia and related difficulties. Maryland has an important Technical Assistance Bulletin for Dyslexia that can help you communicate with school personnel. In addition, the International Dyslexia Association has numerous publications including:

Decoding Dyslexia's website also includes websites and links to organizations that can help get you up to speed on reading, reading disabilities like dyslexia.

Reading Intervention Videos Now Available on Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets offers a new video series with reading expert Linda Farrell. In the videos Ms. Farrell works one-on-one with students in grades K-3. According to Reading Rockets, "the video series shows what it really takes to teach critical skills such as naming letters accurately, blending and manipulating the sounds in words, mastering the connection between letters and sounds, recognizing spelling patterns, and reading multisyllable words."  

Emily Hanford's Reading Reporting in One Place

Go to Listen and share today!

Online Opportunity 
Join Decoding Dyslexia TN for a day of information, support, and strategies to help your child within the school setting! DD TN, TN IDA, and MTSU's Center for Dyslexia have teamed up to bring parents a day of learning. The event is only $10, and you can join the organizers from anywhere in the world online (or at various locations across the state of Tennessee). We'll discuss advocacy, reading interventions, and more! Don't miss it! Register today to reserve your spot!

Click here for tickets and event details. 
The Summit School
Pennsylvania Branch, International Dyslexia Association:
Fall Conference

$65 per person! 
2019 Wright's Law, Special Education Conference
International Dyslexia Association, Annual Conference
Learning Disabilitiesd Association, Annual Conference
Research to Practice Symposium, AIM Institute
Newsletter Submissions, November 2019
  • Do you know of upcoming dyslexia related events that DDMD members may be interested in attending and should be included in upcoming newsletters?
  • Send the information to
#saydyslexia #addressdyslexia #soALLcanread
#readacrossMD #dyslexiaAwareness
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DDMD on YouTube
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