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Dyslexia Conference



Region 4 Dyslexia Conference

November 30, 2023


This annual conference features various sessions in relation to dyslexia, including research, response to intervention, assessment, accommodations, legal issues, and much more. The goal of the conference is to bring current and practical information to a diverse audience of teachers, reading specialists, interventionists, speech-language pathologists, diagnosticians, administrators, and others.


This conference will be held virtually via Zoom®, and recorded sessions will be available up to 30 days after the event for your convenience.  Participants will be able to catch every session of interest!




For questions about this event, e-mail






"Text Comprehension and Written Expression: The Reading-Writing Connection"
Reading comprehension and written expression enjoy a reciprocal relationship and as such, students benefit from writing about what they read. Teaching writing has a positive impact on reading fluency and reading comprehension; therefore, if students are to learn, they must write – throughout the day for different purposes. Teachers who are steeped in the structure of language can analyze their students’ writing to figure out what they do and don’t understand. The session will discuss effective instructional methods and activities to promote the reciprocity of reading and writing.


dyslexia-conterence-2023-speaker-web-gillisDr. Margie B. Gillis, Ed.D., CALT, is the founder and president of Literacy How, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides professional learning opportunities and coaching for educators on how best to implement evidence-based practices in the classroom. She has worked at the policy level through the Connecticut State Department of Education and has partnered with educators in other states to bring the science of reading and Structured Literacy into districts, schools and importantly, classrooms across all tiers of instruction.


She is an advisor for ReadWorks, Understood, and the International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction and is on the Editorial Board of IDA, Perspectives and The Reading League Journal. Margie believes that learning to read is a civil right and that all children can learn to read and benefit from evidence-based instruction.



Dr. Gillis will also present two breakout sessions:


Grammar and Syntax: The Building Blocks of Comprehending and Writing Sentences 

Syntactic knowledge, the ability to understand a variety of grammatical structures within the context of a sentence, supports students’ comprehension of text. This session presents research on syntax and explains its critical role in comprehending complex text and writing a variety of well-constructed sentences. Armed with this understanding, educators learn how to teach their students the functions of sentence parts—words, phrases, and clauses—in order to show them how to unpack the meaning of sentences they encounter in text and to write well-written sentences that convey their thoughts.


Why and How to Bring the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy into Every Classroom: A Call to Action
Why is the opportunity gap so persistent and how can we accelerate students’ reading and writing achievement to close it? Learn what several schools and districts are doing to ensure their teachers learn how to apply the science of reading in all tiers of instruction. This session will highlight several key areas of focus: educator prep programs' inclusion of the science of reading, professional learning opportunities and embedded coaching support for teachers, the role that administrators play in ensuring that teachers are able to apply the science of reading in their classrooms, and the importance of systems and structures to support all individuals in schools. 





"From Helplessness to Empowerment: Re-Engaging Students with Dyslexia"
Students with dyslexia demonstrate paradoxical behavior in the classroom. At times, they appear withdrawn, insecure, and even cynical. In the blink of an eye, these same students may show moments of enthusiasm, engagement, and eagerness to learn.

In his talk, Dean Bragonier shares anecdotes from his academic journey, giving a unique glimpse into the psychological impact of being a student with dyslexia. Dean explores the intersection between classroom instruction and contemporary behavioral theories that underscore strategies and techniques that bolster student self-esteem and academic tenacity. 

dyslexia-conterence-2023-speaker-web-bragonierDean Starbuck Bragonier is the Founder and Executive Dyslexic of NoticeAbility Inc, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students with dyslexia identify their unique strengths and build self-esteem. Shaped by the challenges associated with his dyslexia and after struggling through the traditional secondary education system, Dean became a diligent and successful college student who developed a true love of learning at Bates College.


Upon graduation, Dean embraced his entrepreneurial instincts and acquired a small seasonal restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard Island that he transformed into a successful full-scale enterprise. It was through this endeavor that he was able to contextualize his years of laborious academic learning and discover the true gifts of his own dyslexic mind.


As a social entrepreneur, Dean has founded his own nonprofit organizations and served as board member and advisor to a number of others. NoticeAbility is the culmination of Dean’s passion for education and his conviction that the advantages of dyslexia far outweigh its associated challenges.



dyslexia-conference-session-list-imageBREAKOUT SESSIONS

(Session titles and information are subject to change)


Download a document with breakout session information and full descriptions here, or by clicking the flyer image to the right.


  • Accessing Academic Accommodations: Supporting College-Bound Students with Dyslexia
  • Best Practices in Completing Comprehensive FIEs
  • Confident Readers are Confident Leaders: Reading Conferences that Work
  • Cracking the Code: Unleashing the Power of Syllables for Multisyllable Word Reading
  • Deep Dive into the PLAAFP
  • The Domains of Language and Reading Fluency
  • Explore Explicit Instruction
  • From Narratives to Informational Text: Another Reading -Writing Connection
  • How to Tackle Comprehension in Expository Text for Grades 4-12
  • Paragraphology 
  • Phoneme Grapheme Mapping-Explicit, Multisensory Spelling Instruction
  • Phonological Awareness on the Go!
  • Power of Accent (Recorded)
  • Powerful Read Alouds- A Structured Literacy Approach
  • The Reading by Design® Web App—An Overview
  • The Reading by Design® Web App—New Modules and Roadmap Overview
  • Second Language & Dyslexia
  • Seeing the Connections
  • Special Education Accountability for Dyslexia
  • Text Comprehension and Written Expression: The Reading-Writing Connection 
  • Understanding and Supporting Students Who Experience Anxiety and Depression
  • What are the G's and What are Their Impact on Academics





24th Annual Region 4 Dyslexia Conference

November 30, 2023
Time: 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Credits: CPE 6 / ALTA CEU 6
Location: Virtual Zoom Session
Registration Fee: $150
Register on using Session ID: 1594457.


For more information, e-mail






Region 4 is making improvements to the McKinney Conference Center and will invite guests to experience the difference in August of 2024
7145 West Tidwell Road | Houston, Texas 77092-2096 | 713.462.7708
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