2024 Keynote Speakers

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Conference Details: https://ga.dyslexiaida.org/2024-conference/

Language Comprehension and Developmental Language Disorder in Children with Dyslexia
Tiffany P. Hogan, Ph.D.

A wave of legislation grassroots movements have focused on multi-tiered system of supports in public schools for word reading with emphasis on early identification and support for children with dyslexia. However, language comprehension has received much less attention. In this session, we will review the importance of focusing explicitly and systematically on language comprehension assessment and intervention for children with dyslexia, separate from word reading. We will provide information on developmental language disorder (DLD), a learning disability that results in language comprehension deficits and has the same prevalence as dyslexia. Importantly, DLD and dyslexia co-occur 50-90% of the time. Attendees will leave this session with evidence-based, actionable, culturally and linguistically sensitive practices to increase language comprehension in schools. Multi-tiered systems of support around both word reading and language comprehension are necessary to improve reading comprehension for all children, including those with dyslexia. 

Literacy as a Civil Right
Tracy White Weeden, Ed.D.

In a knowledge economy, the human right of the 21st Century is literacy. What is at stake for children who fall through the cracks in systems without a strategically designed literacy safety net in place? What do parents and other community stakeholders deserve to know about this high-stakes imperative? What are the coordinated systems that lay a blueprint to successfully develop skilled readers, writers, and critical thinkers? What is possible when we ensure children become literate for a lifetime, regardless of zip code or student group?


Tiffany P. Hogan, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, Director of the Speech and Language (SAiL) Literacy Lab and the Center for Translational Research: Implementation Science, and Dissemination for Equity, (cTIDE), and Research Associate at Harvard Medical Center. Dr. Hogan has published over 100 papers on the genetic, neurologic, and behavioral links between oral and written language development, with a focus on improving assessment and intervention in schools, especially for neurodiverse children with Developmental Language Disorder, Dyslexia, and/or Speech Sound Disorders. Her advocacy for children with language, speech, and literacy disabilities has led her to co-found a DLD informational website (www.dldandme.org), host a podcast (www.seehearspeakpodcast.com), organize an annual conference on implementation science, and contribute information for articles in numerous news outlets including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, along with several television and radio appearances. 

Tracy White Weeden, Ed.D., is a global keynote speaker, a forward-thinking leader, and a fervent literacy advocate. White advocates for literacy as a fundamental human right of the 21st century. With over 28 years of educational leadership experience, White has devoted her life to co-creating evidence-aligned innovative programs. These programs, propelled by exceptional teams, create transformative educational outcomes for children and adults. As the President and CEO of Neuhaus Education Center (NEC), White inspires stakeholders and advocates to champion a vision of Literacy for All. Drawing on her extensive experience with change management, she provides valuable counsel to accelerate literacy results, regardless of zip code. This involves empowering educators to propel students to proficient and advanced levels of achievement. White’s unwavering dedication extends to serving all children and families, with respect for the dialect or the home language they are loved in. She provides consultation to state department representatives, central office leaders, and school principals on change management linked to implementation science. White’s commitment is evident whether the setting is urban, suburban, or rural. She firmly believes in empowering educators to become the most impactful change agents in society. White believes that when educators are apprenticed based on proven science, they win at their work. By elevating effective literacy transformation for nonprofit, university, public, charter, and private school communities, White is dedicated to transforming the family tree through literacy.


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