Do You Know How Reading is Taught in Your School?
At Your Desk, On Your Walk, In Your Car......Take Time to Listen and Understand the Current State of Reading Instruction  

Stream or download the latest investigation by education reporter, Emily Hanford.  Put reading and listening to "At a Loss for Words: How A Flawed Idea is Teaching Millions of Kids to be Poor Readers" at the top of your to-do list for the start of the new school year. Every parent, educator, and policy maker will benefit from the comprehensive yet concise report on reading instruction in classrooms across the country. 
On August 22, 2019, APM Reports released the much anticipated audio documentary. In the audio version, Emily Hanford, interviews University of Maryland professor and researcher, Dr. Donald Bolger. Ms. Hanford and Dr. Bolger discuss his scientific work in understanding how individuals learn to read. The findings at the UMD lab, along with other studies, "show that people who are taught phonics learn better because focusing on letters and sounds increases activity in the area of the brain that is best wired for reading."   Full Transcript

After you listen, return to the APM Reports website to see examples of past and current reading lessons. Did you know about the three cuing system discussed in the report? Are you surprised by the guessing techniques encouraged and employed in schools today? The footnotes in Ms. Hanford's piece provide additional resources including links to videos of reading instruction. At the bottom of the story's page, you will find a printable PDF as well as an invitation to provide feedback and instructions on how to share on Facebook. 

Discussion Guide: The Right to Read Project created a discussion guide for the report. Download the the guide, access the additional resources, and lead a conversation with your friends and colleagues. 

Commentary: Forbes senior contributor, Natalie Wexler, brings attention to the work of Emily Hanford in the column published on the day At a Loss for Words was released.  On, read the support for Ms. Hanford's investigation and findings in  "Why Most Beginning Readers Are Taught To Guess At Words—And How That Holds Them Back."  

Listen Again: Catch up with the previous work of Emily Hanford

How American schools fail kids with dyslexia 
Why aren't kids being taught to read? 
Read, Listen, Download, and Share "At a Loss for Words"
Spotlight on Baltimore County: District Continues to Address Professional Learning for Reading & Dyslexia

 Maryland Advocates Changing Reading Instruction One District at a Time

Elizabeth Hembling, Decoding Dyslexia Maryland, attended a recent meeting of the Baltimore County Board of Education. She addressed the Board and also thanked BCPS administrators for providing professional learning in cognitive reading science and dyslexia interventions.

Baltimore County Public Schools is filling an educator knowledge gap left open by colleges of education. BCPS provides 60 hours of course work in the Orton Gillingham approach for hundreds of educators and also offers the opportunity to attend the Notre Dame of Maryland University Dyslexia Certificate Program. The district is also boosting teacher knowledge and practice in the essential components of reading instruction by providing coursework in Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS).

In her public comments, Ms. Hembling asks that the Board of Education to support the pending contract for additional LETRS training in the district.  Watch the video (jump to 35:27) of the testimony.

Congratulations to Elizabeth on her upcoming award for her advocacy work. On October 16, 2019, Ms. Hembling will be recognized by the Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities with the Family Support Award. She was nominated for this honor by Baltimore Country Public Schools head of Special Education, Rebecca Rider. 
Want to get involved and share your story? Connect with your local chapter and find resources on our website.

Back to School Resource: Latest IDA Fact Sheet 

 "Advocating for a Child With Dyslexia Within the Public Education System"

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) with the assistance of Kristin Kane, former Family Support Coordinator at Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center; Parent at Decoding Dyslexia–VA and Deborah Lynam, Director of Partnerships and Engagement at AIM Institute for Learning and Research; Parent at Decoding Dyslexia–NJ prepared a useful fact sheet for families.

View and download the Fact Sheet today. The document includes information that will be helpful in:

  • getting organized
  • understanding the systems of support
  • navigating Response to Intervention (RTI) models
  • discussing special education services
  • securing civil rights protections
  • balancing your rights and responsibilities
  • accessing additional resources
The IDA website also has additional resources that will be essential in understanding the above topics. Explore the tabs and documents including:
DDMD Resources for Addressing Dyslexia in MD Schools

DDMD Supports the Blueprint for Maryland's Future

Kirwan Commission Update

The Blueprint for Maryland's Future Funding Formula Workgroup met on August 22, 2019. 

Download the meeting materials and review past meetings to keep informed on the activities that will influence the future of education in Maryland. View the videos of the August 22 meeting to gain an appreciation for the passion and dedication of the Workgroup members. 

DDMD will continue to follow the Funding Formula Workgroup sessions. We 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. 

Keep Up to Date on the Kirwan Commission and Workgroups
 DDMD Volunteer and Contributor Joins NCLD's Young Adult Leadership Council  
DDMD would like to congratulate Hailey Jerome on her appointment to The National Center for Learning Disabilities’ Young Adult Leadership Council. According to NCLD's website, the Council is "an advisory group made up of young adult leaders and advocates who are committed to supporting systemic change that benefits the lives of the 1 in 5 people with learning and attention issues."

Ms. Jerome is one of  25 talented young adults invited by NCLD to join the second cohort of the Council. While developing skills to become leaders, Council members inform the direction of NCLD’s policy and programs. Along with her Council peers, Hailey will serve as an ambassador to the media and policymakers on issues that impact the education and career pathways of children and young adults with learning and attention issues. 

At the 2019 DDMD Dyslexia Advocacy Day in Annapolis, Hailey greeted participants at the registration table and also mentored student advocates during the youth sessions. She was an active participant in Advocacy Day planning meetings and worked toward the successful passage of the Ready to Read Act. Ms. Jerome recently relocated to Charlotte, NC, to pursue a career in hospitality and events. 

Follow Hailey's advocacy work and learn more about the NCLD's Young Adult Leadership Council in the organization's website post. Hailey shares, “There will always be adversaries in life. You have to continue to fight for yourself, love yourself and educate those around you.”

DDMD appreciates Hailey's time and commitment to dyslexia awareness and wishes her continued success. 

Follow DDMD on Facebook to Learn About Additional Advocacy Opportunities

Dyslexia Community Events &

Newsletter Content

  • Click on the links or images below to learn more about these dyslexia related events. Please confirm date, time, and location with the host organization.
  • 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

DDMD Montgomery County
Meeting and Struggling Reader Simulation
 September 17, 2019


TUESDAY September 17th @ 6:45pm Montgomery County DDMD Chapter Meeting

Struggling Reader Simulation (6:45-7:45pm)

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a struggling reader? Come join us for a "Struggling Reader Simulation" led by literacy experts. This simulation will help participants gain insight on what it is like to struggle with reading in the classroom. This is not for children.

Planning for Upcoming Year (7:45-9:00pm)

We'll recap last year's successes, update on summer conversations with MCPS, and organize efforts for this upcoming year.

Meeting location is at the Siena School.

Click here to contact the event organizers and more information. 

DDMD Frederick County
Dyslexia Awareness and Simulation Night
Hold the Date: October 17, 2019

Welcome to our second Simulation and Dyslexia Awareness Night. Please join us early in the evening to participate in our resource fair at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Simulation at 6:45 p.m. Wait to you see who will be attending our Fair. Great opportunity to have questions answered.This is a powerful night ! More info will follow. Not recommended for children under 17.  We have limited seating. 100 max room compact. Come early.

Click here for location information and event details.  
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. 
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