February, 2015
Your February SDIDA News
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Four Examples of Assistive Technology to Help Students with Dyslexia

By: Amanda Morin


Assistive technology is one of the core strategies schools use to help with dyslexia. You should talk to your child's school about finding the right assistive technology for your child, which may include some of the following:


Audio Players and Recorders

It may help your child to be able to listen to the words as she reads them on the page. Many e-books have audio files, and smartphones and tablet computers come with text-to-speech software that can read aloud anything on your child's screen. If she struggles with writing or taking notes, an audio recorder can capture what the teacher says in class so your child can listen to it again at home.


Reading Guides

Reading guides are good tools for kids who have trouble with visual tracking or who need help staying focused on the page. The plastic strip highlights one line of text while blocking out surrounding words that might be distracting and is easy to move up and down the page.


Writing Supports

With word prediction software, your child types the first few letters and the software gives word choices that begin with that letter. Speech recognition software allows your child to speak and have the text appear on the screen. These kinds of software are built-in features on many smartphones and tablet computers.


Graphic Organizers

There are many different types of graphic organizers that  can be found online and printed out that can help your child organize his thoughts for a writing assignment. There are also more sophisticated tools such as organizing programs that can help him map out his thoughts.


Dyslexia Elevator Pitch 

Salespeople know that there is an art to getting their pitch down to a succinct speech concise enough to share on an elevator ride with a stranger. People with dyslexia should be armed with the same ability to explain their Learning Difference quickly and concisely so that friends, family, coworkers and teachers can get an overview of their struggles easily. Here's a short and sweet breakdown of what that elevator pitch may look like.

Points to Include in the Dyslexia Elevator Pitch:


1. What dyslexia is: Dyslexia is a neurological Learning Disability. In other words, a dyslexic person's brain is wired to handle information differently.


2. How dyslexia affects an individual: Sometimes it takes a dyslexic brain longer to process information and figure out how to use the new data. It makes reading and writing more difficult.


3. Advantages of dyslexia: The dyslexic brain is often great at spatial reasoning and creative thought. There are a lot of dyslexics in fields like business, architecture, and creative arts.  


4. What dyslexia DOESN'T mean: Being dyslexic doesn't make a person dumb or lazy.


5. What a dyslexic person needs: Being patient goes a long way!


Bonus! There are a ton of famous people with dyslexia. Do some name-dropping.


Here's a sample dyslexia elevator pitch for middle school and high school students: "Dyslexia makes things like reading and writing a struggle sometimes, but I've found that it makes me really creative. I'm good at math, art, and business, but my brain's wiring makes taking notes in class a challenge sometimes. I'm not lazy or dumb, I just learn better with a tape recorder than a pen and paper, and I read better with audio books than with printed material. But, hey, if Richard Branson can make millions and be dyslexic, I figure I'll be ok."

For additional dyslexia elevator pitches for elementary students and adults click here

San Diego Branch of IDA Launches "Light Up Literacy" Fundraising Campaign 

By: Christa Eilers


The San Diego Branch of the International Dyslexia Association recently launched its 2014-2015 fundraising campaign: "Light Up Literacy." The campaign provides the unique opportunity to support the organization, help those with dyslexia, and build businesses' exposure in the community by becoming a Business Member of the "Dyslexia Discount Card" Program--a card offering annual, mutually agreed upon savings to San Diego residents who have purchased the card. Businesses becoming Business Members will receive certain of the following advertising, depending on the level of their support:

  • Business information featured on SD/IDA newsletters reaching all members and affiliates.

  • Business name listed as donor on SD/IDA website throughout the year.

  • Business contact information and website link listed on SD/IDA website.

  • Business logo positioned to SD/IDA website.

  • Plaque identifying SD/IDA sponsorship for display.

For more information on becoming a Business Member, contact SD/IDA or (619) 295-3722.


We extend a special thank you to our current sponsors: Banyan Tree Educational Services, e3 Consulting, The Family and Learning Centre, Gizmos and Gadgets Kids Lab, Joanie and Leigh's Cakes, Kids in Harmony, La Jolla LearningWorks, Learning Ally, Learning Connections, Mintz Levin, New Bridge School, SPOT Kids Therapy, Inc., Therapeutic Literacy Center, and The Winston School. Thank you all for helping us Light Up Literacy!


San Diego Branch Annual Membership Meeting Being Held March 11th  
By: Christa Eilers

You're invited to join the San Diego Branch of IDA at our Annual Membership Meeting! The meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd #110, San Diego. Bring your business cards or personal information cards to share with others-or just bring your zest to support SDIDA and people with dyslexia-and enjoy an evening where we share in the accomplishments and goals of our organization, network with parents and professionals, and gain insight into the educational community from a professional in the field. 

Tickets are available online: $20 or purchase at the door $20 (members)/$25 (non-members and cash or check preferred) and include an appetizer buffet (no-host bar). Please RSVP by March 3rd to reserve your spot. For more information, or if you have questions, call (858) 775-0042 or email us or visit us on Facebook.com

Dyslexia Events Happening in SoCal


IDA Los Angeles Conference 

Date: Saturday, May 1, 2015

Conference Title: Language & Learning 2015 (with Featured Keynote Address by Dr. Louisa Moats, Ed.D)

Location:  University of California, Los Angeles

Information here

IDA Tri-Counties Conference

Date: Friday and Saturday, March 6-7, 2015

Conference Title: Strategies for Struggling Learners

Location:  Riverside Convention Center, 3637 Fifth Street, Riverside, CA  92501

Information and Registration

SDIDA Annual Meeting

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 (RSVP by March 3rd)

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location:  98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd #110, San Diego, CA

Ticket Price: Online: $20. At the door: $20 (members) /$25 (non-members, cash or check preferred)

For tickets, go here 

For more information, or if you have questions, visit facebook.com call (858) 775-0042 or email us
Board of Directors
International Dyslexia Association, San Diego Branch

The San Diego Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (SDIDA) is pleased to present a forum for information to benefit its constituents. It is SDIDA's policy to not recommend or endorse any specific program, product, institution, company, or instructional material, noting that there are a number of such that present the critical components of instruction as defined by IDA's Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. Any program, product, institution, company,  or instructional material carrying the IDA Recognized seal meets the SDIDA Standards. Opinions expressed in this newsletter and/or via links do not necessarily reflect those of SDIDA.

If you have a recommendation for an article topic, or wish to provide an article in its entirety for consideration to appear in a future issue, please email us.