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“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” ~Winston Churchill

Spotlight on Dyslexia 2019


Logo: Spotlight on Dyslexia Virtual Conference


Once again, Learning Ally hosted its hit online conference Spotlight on Dyslexia this past Friday.  SPOD is a dynamic conference featuring sixteen speakers from all over the country, experts and specialists in dyslexia, literacy, and neuroscience, for in-depth discussions of the facts of dyslexia and the issues faced by dyslexic students, their families and their teachers.  This incredible event lasts all day and is attended by educators and administrators, parents, students, and teachers-in-training--anyone who wants to learn more about dyslexia and the solutions available that help people with dyslexia succeed in a print-based environment and beyond.


SPOD Theatre view with list of a few of the sessions available to attendees, as well as advertising by Learning Ally and partners including


Completely online, SPOD’s Theater offered fifteen sessions (three to choose from during each session period) ranging from “Older Struggling Readers: What Do They Need?” to “We’ve Screened for Dyslexia...Now What?” and “What a Successful Public School Dyslexia Program Looks Like”.  


Dr. Maryanne Wolfe outside in front of a tree and some bushes.  She has shoulder-length brown hair, a friendly smile, and wears glasses.  She's wearing a black dress with large white polka dots, and yellow sweater, and a silver chain.


In addition, our Keynote Speaker was Dr. Maryanne Wolf,  an educator famous for her advocacy for children and literacy around the world.  Her keynote address was “Lessons from the Reading Brain for Dyslexia, Early Diagnosis, and Intervention”.  Click here to learn more about her:


SPOD Lounge, with links to the Educators chat room and the Parents chat room, as well as advertising by Learning Ally and partners including


To augment the activity of the day, we also had a Lounge with two chatrooms available all day, one specifically for educators and one specifically for parents.  These were places where people could reach out and learn from each other’s experiences. There were some great interactions going on, and it was absolutely heartwarming to see people helping each other succeed.


The Resource Center was a great place where participants could access and download pdfs and videos provided by Learning Ally, our partners, and the speakers:


SPOD Resource Center, with a list of a few of the pdfs available for download, as well as advertising by Learning Ally and partners including


Learning Ally partnered with so that educators attending the event could receive up to sixteen Continuing Education credits.  One great aspect: if you were tied up that day, every session is recorded, and participants can access the sessions and Keynote Address later to experience at the time that is best for them.  Another bonus: since participants could attend only one-third of the presentations live, the recordings give participants the opportunity to experience ALL the sessions. Educators who registered for the event have until September 30th to submit their quizzes and receive their CE credits.  Each session also had its own dedicated chat and Question and Answer that attendees could actively participate in during the live sessions, giving them the opportunity to ask questions directly to the speakers, as well as to chat with others interested in the specific topic being discussed.


We had over 1400 registered, and it was a busy day.  A few of the comments we received included:


From a teacher:  SPOD exceeded her expectations, it’s fabulous, easy to understand with great downloadable resources!


From a student: “Hi, everyone, I hope everyone’s enjoying their conference.  I’m so excited to be here to be supporting Learning Ally. Learning Ally has been such an instrumental part to my Success in school.  I’ve been using the software since 10th [grade] and it has transformed the way I learn.”


From another teacher:  “The students love Learning Ally!  I always do a group lesson how to utilize it correctly before sending them off to read/listen.  We focus on how listening to a book can be a tool that will help them become stronger readers...and they come in SO proud that they finished their first book.  I feel that Learning Ally levels the playing field for them. They can tackle a text that other students are reading and are able to discuss it with them because they are able to listen and comprehend instead of struggle to decode words and create meaning…”


In a past year an educator who attended told us, “The conference helped me grow so much as an educator and I earned CE credits.  The content and the experts were top notch!”


This year’s conference was no different--sought-after content, knowledgeable speakers, opportunities to share ideas and solutions!  Learning Ally has once again supported the success of teachers, administrators, students, and families, all over the country!  Start thinking now about joining us next time!


A classroom scene: a young teacher helping students learn how to use audiobooks in the classroom.  Everyone is smiling!


Colorful graphic of celebratory confetti and streamers rising up from festive party hat-like cones


Metrics Update for this week:


  • Our readers increased to 207,718


  • We’ve had over 135 million pages read--an increase of 66% over last year for school readers!


  • We had 45,403 reading at frequency*


Thanks for all your hard work, everyone--together we are making a tremendous difference in the lives of so many people!


*at frequency = students are reading books multiple times during the school year, with a general target of thirty times (more for lower grades, less for upper grades).  Our data shows that most of these students read for at least 20 minutes each time.

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