:: About IDA-UMB ::

Supporting Struggling Readers in the Midwest since 1969

The International Dyslexia Association-Upper Midwest Branch is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization that supports individuals with dyslexia and related, language-based learning disorders, as well as their families and educators.

One of 42 IDA branches worldwide, we have been serving the areas of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota for more than 50 years.

Student reading
team targeting goals

:: our focus ::

We’re committed to...

As a 50-year old branch of a 100-year old organization, we have the experience, knowledge and commitment to make a difference.

:: branch history ::

Grassroots Beginnings

An informal gathering of interested individuals met in Rochester, Minnesota, in April 1969, but the first, official meeting of the branch brought 130 educators, parents and physicians together on September 26 in 1969.

As was envisioned by the early founders, the branch has been instrumental in assisting other states to develop their own branches. Subsequently, Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin organized and broke off from the Upper Midwest Branch over the years.

Minnesota silhouette
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:: original officers elected ::

Paula Rome, President

 Jean Osman, Vice President

Dorothy Ley, Secretary

Julie Steinke, Treasurer

Isabel Matterson, Membership Chair

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:: original areas served ::





North Dakota

South Dakota

Manitoba, Canda

Current Legislation

Looking for information on current legislation around Dyslexia in your area? Visit our partners’ websites for valuable and up-to-date information.

decoding dyslexia MN

decoding dyslexia SD

decoding dyslexia ND

Dyslexia Coalition

Shelly Bayer

Shelly Bayer, PhD

Dr. Shelly Bayer is the Assistant Director for the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning at South Dakota State University where she works with faculty and graduate teaching assistants to create a culture of teaching excellence by promoting evidence-based strategies and encouraging professional and personal growth mindsets. Shelly earned her B.A. in English Education from South Dakota State University, her Masters of Education in Literacy (Certified Reading Specialist) from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, and her doctorate in Education Administration – Adult & Higher Education through the University of South Dakota. Prior to her current employment, Shelly taught in public schools in Brookings, SD and Las Vegas, NV. Her educational background combined with her son’s identification as a dyslexic learner inspired her to work to create environments and systems that embrace the strengths of every learner and value each learner’s contributions to the process. Shelly joined the IDA-UMB Board of Directors in April 2018. She was elected as President in July 2021.