Dyslexia Initiative | University of Portland

Dyslexia Initiative

Dyslexia represents the most common and most prevalent of all known learning disabilities and impacts approximately 1 in 5 individuals (National Institute of Health). We understand that the challenges of dyslexia can be met through changes in teacher education, support for the professional development of in-service teachers, and advocacy for students and families. In the coming year, the School of Education plans to develop programming in these areas.

Want to learn more about the dyslexia initiative and find out when our next professional development event might be occurring?

Amy Kwong-Kwapisz
Director of Professional Community Development


October 2, 2022 | Right to Read Film Screening: Clips and Conversations

Right to Read film screening and panel discussion hosted at the University of Portland School of Education with Oregon Kids Read, #booksnotbarsor, Decoding Dyslexia Oregon, Our Children Oregon, Y.O.U.T.H, and International Dyslexia Association Oregon.

Event Video of Right to Read Film Screening and Panel Discussion


October 11, 2019 | Dyslexia: Strategies & Experiences for your Toolbox

The team of presenters provided practical content for educators and administrators to take back to their classrooms and schools to better support their students and families. 

Presenter Resources and Video:

Dr. Maura Malone | Dyslexia Accommodations: Supporting Students, Working with Parents, Navigating the Environment

This presentation showcased common dyslexia learning profiles and review the range of services, aids, and accommodations that students require and that school districts grant. Dr. Malone provided insights based on her experience as a tutor, an advocate, and a parent on how to navigate the multiple demands that teachers encounter. Dr. Malone also provided a short briefing on the historical and current legal environment that defines how teachers contribute to the decision making process for granting students the accommodations they need to be successful in their academic work.

Maura Malone PhD Dyslexia Presentation
What is Dyslexia? Dyslexia Explained Video from Kids in the House
Dyslexia Accommodations Session Video

Elizabeth Skorohodov | Multi-sensory Literacy Gen Ed

Learn how to use Project Read and other Multi-sensory curricula in the general classroom setting. This presentation includes demonstration and exploration of the Project Read kit and why the following elements are important: introducing a new letter with rule attached, skywriting, learning a "red" word and dictation. This presentation is for administrators, educators and parents.

Phonics & Phonemic Awareness Strategies Presentation
Multi-sensory Practice Page
Multi-sensory Handouts
Multi-sensory Letter V No Dots
Multi-sensory Literacy Gen Ed Session Video

Dr. Carrie Thomas Beck | SMART IEP Reading Goals

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find reading goals on a student's IEP that are too broad, that focus solely on reading fluency or comprehension, or that are not appropriately ambitious. This session focused on how to write SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time based) IEP reading goals to best address student needs in the area of reading. Data from a series of student case studies were shared. The presenter modeled how data collected from a variety of assessments can be used to write ambitious, but realistic IEP goals. Participants also learned about resources for writing high-quality IEPs from the National Center on Intensive Intervention.

SMART IEP Reading Goals Presentation
SMART IEP Reading Goals Session Video

International Dyslexia Association - Oregon Branch | Introduction to Structured Literacy

Research has shown that explicit, systematic, phonics-based approaches are necessary for many children to "break the code" of our language and become proficient readers and spellers. In this session, participants were introduced to an overview of the content and process of Structured Literacy and why this approach is an effective method of teaching any student to read, but essential for students with dyslexia. Resources for further self-study were provided and participants were encouraged to download the free Nearpod app before the session.

Introduction to Structured Literacy Presentation
Introduction to Structured Literacy Session Video

July 26, 2019 | Dyslexia Workshop with Barbara Steinberg

Barbara Steinberg has been educating, mentoring and inspiring students and educators for over 20 years, first as a classroom teacher and now as a dyslexia and educational consultant.  Barbara is passionate about educating and supporting those who work with struggling learners, and when not working with students herself, shares her wealth of knowledge and years of experience with fellow educators, parents and students themselves. Barbara has trained thousands of educators throughout Oregon and beyond. Barbara is the founder of PDX Reading Specialist, an organization whose mission is to Inspire Individuals to Become CONFIDENT and CAPABLE Learners through remediation, accommodation and inspiration.

University of Portland School of Education with the permission of Barbara Steinberg is providing professional development learning opportunities with a Dyslexia Workshop video, recorded in July 2019 during a presentation to principals, teachers, and current students. The Dyslexia Workshop video is provided to all educators with two different options.

Option 1: Receive Professional Development Unit (PDU) credit hours certificate after watching the video and answering questions following each video.

Option 2: Receive professional learning opportunity by watching the videos.

To watch the Dyslexia Workshop video, please go to: https://boost.up.edu/login/signup.php