IDA upper Midwest branch offers free webinars throughout the year to support parents, educational professionals and advocates. We record as many a possible and provide an extensive library of topics as opportunity for continued learning. Viewing our free webinars is a great way to learn about dyslexia and effective literacy instruction. If you have any questions about our webinars, or suggestions for a webinar topic, please let us know!

Dyslexia Basics

Dyslexia 101

Robin Rovick, CALT,
MultiSensory Reading Solutions

Understanding Cognitive Skills and Brain Training

Jennifer Fischer

Executive Function and Dyslexia
Jennifer Petrich, PhD

Related Conditions

Dyslexia and ADD: Obstacles, not Roadblocks to Academic Success

Rachelle Johnson, Eden Prairie High School

Screening, Testing & Assessments

How Minnesota’s New and Amended Education Statutes Apply to You
Dr. Amy Schulting, Dyslexia Specialist, Minnesota Department of Education
Identification of Dyslexia and Reading Difficulties: Components of an Assessment

Ray Boyd, M.S., Groves Academy

School SLD Assessment vs. Private Neuropsychological Assessment: What’s the Difference and Which is Best for My Child?

Jennifer Bennett, M.S., BrainWorks

Deciphering the Tests

Ray Boyd, M.S., Groves Academy

Signs of Dyslexia: Prescreenings in 4-6 Year Olds

Jan Hagedorn

What Every Kindergartner Should Know

Arlene Sonday, Author, The Sonday System

School, Accommodations & Transitions

Recognizing Dyslexia in the Classroom

Kelli Sandman-Hurley  & Tracy Block-Zaretsky, Dyslexia Training Institute

Navigating the School System When a Child is Struggling with Reading or Dyslexia

Vicki Weinberg of MN Department of Education & Rachel Berger, Decoding Dyslexia MN

Legal Rights and Procedures for LD Learners

Amy Goetz & Andrea Jepsen, School Law Center

Supporting the Vocational and Social Development of Youth and Young Adults with Learning Disabilities

Joe Timmons, University of Minnesota

Enhancing RtI to Close the Gap

Brandon Valley School District Staff

From College to Career: My Dyslexic Advantage

Sam Thorson, KeyMedia Solutions

High School to College Transition: Living and Learning Independently

Lee Baker

Effective Reading Instruction

Teaching Reading is Rocket Science

John Alexander

Insights into “Sight Words”

Gina Cooke, Linguist, Educator Exchange

Reading Instruction That Works: What To Look For

Jeanie Munsterman

Speech and Language Bootcamp: What’s the Connection to Literacy?
Jane Heinemeyer, MA, CCC/SLP
Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension

Ellen Engstrom

Helping Students Take Control of Everyday Executive Function

Paula Moraine

Wanted: Teachers with Knowledge of Language

Louisa Moats, Ed.D.

Developing Literacy in the Content Areas Through Structured Word Study

Sue Hegland

Making Sense of “Irregular” Words

Sue Hegland

Spelling & Math

How Spelling Supports Reading

Louisa Moats, Ed.D.

Structured Word Inquiry

Pete Bowers, PhD

Executive Function and Dyslexia Part 2: Math and Spelling
Jennifer Petrich, PhD
The Foundation of Literacy for Every Student
Timothy Houge, Ph.D. & Sue Hegland
Four Steps to Better Spelling Instruction

Bill Keeney, Delaware Valley Friends School

Writing & Grammar

Handwriting May Be More Important Than You Think!

Nancy Cushen White, Ed.D., BCET, CALT-QI

Why is Writing So Darn Hard?

Bonnie Singer, PhD

Demystifying Grammar

Elizabeth O’Brien, GrammarRevolution.com

Assistive Technology

Enhancing Reading Comprehension in the Elementary Grades Using Assistive Technology
Jennifer Topple, MS, CCC/SLP and Kim Papastavridis, CCC/SLP
Assistive Technologies from Microsoft that will help Parents, Student and Teachers
Rachel Berger
Using the Eye to Eye App to Empower Students
Eye to Eye
Audio-Assisted Reading as Remediation: Beyond Assistive Technology
Bill Keeney, Ph.D., CALP
Assistive Technology to Support Executive Function Skills

Suzanne Carreker, IDA

Teacher Training

Teacher Knowledge and Skill Projects of IDA and CERI

Suzanne Carreker, IDA

Robin Rovick

Robin Rovick

Robin Rovick is a Certified Academic Language Therapist, Level IV-trained Orton-Gillingham reading specialist, and a Wilson Level 1 Certified Practitioner. Additionally, she is a Certified Dyslexia Therapist through the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and the Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI). Robin is a knowledgeable and creative educator with more than thirty years of experience in nurturing and building the skills of learners of all ages, with a special emphasis on developing the reading, writing, and comprehension skills of individuals with language-based disabilities. She has served the IDA-UMB organization as Vice President, Chair of the Information and Referral Committee, and on several committees including Education/ Conference and Publicity/ Promotion. She provides remediation and advocacy work through her private practice at MultiSensory Reading Solutions, LLC, where she designs individual learning programs based upon student needs both in academic areas and executive function deficits, and provides direct, one-on-one instruction. Robin also works with students and teachers at metro-area charter and private schools, training both general and special education teachers in structured literacy. She provided tutoring through the Groves Academy Outreach program, served on the Board of Directors for Orton-Gillingham of MN, and works with parent outreach organizations including Decoding Dyslexia MN to promote the adoption of multisensory, explicit, research-based reading instruction in schools and tutor training programs. Robin currently is a director on the board of the Great Lakes ALTA Chapter. Robin is passionate about all children and adults having the opportunity to read fluently, accurately, and with enjoyment, as well as helping families navigate through the academic and personal journey of dyslexia and other reading disabilities.
Christine Stern

Christine Stern

Chris is a retired advertising writer-producer with more than 35 years in consumer, health, and education marketing. Her family includes (at least) five individuals with dyslexia and one with dysgraphia. Therefore, she has plenty of experience living with and advocating for this talented and challenged group. Her mother-in-law, June Stern, was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was in her late 60s. Along with Chris and her husband, Leo, June established a foundation that awarded over 200 professional development scholarships to K-3 classroom teachers for Orton-Gillingham training in effective ways to teach reading, writing, and spelling. Chris is a co-founder and a guiding member of the Higher Education Literacy Partnership of Minnesota (HELP), www.helpliteracymn.org [helpliteracymn.org], and sponsor of the Stern Family Chair in Reading Success at the University of Minnesota.
Jennifer Bennett

Jennifer Bennett, M.S.


Jennifer Bennett, M.S., is a Licensed Psychologist who focuses her work on neuropsychological and psychoeducational assessment. At BrainWorks, her private practice, she conducts diagnostic evaluations with people ages 5 to 60 who are experiencing difficulties related to learning, attention, information processing, and cognitive development. With 20+ years of assessment experience, Jennifer’s areas of expertise include learning disabilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and nonverbal LD), attention deficit disorders (ADHD with and without hyperactivity/impulsivity, sluggish cognitive tempo), auditory processing difficulties, autism spectrum disorder, and other neurocognitive difficulties that affect thinking, learning, and communication.

Marcia Henry

Marcia Henry

I have over 60 years of experience working in the field dyslexia as a diagnostician, tutor, teacher, and professor. I received by initial O-G training directly from Paula Dozier Rome and Jean Osman at The Reading Center in Rochester. Moving to California, I obtained my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Stanford University and became a professor in the Division of Special Education at San Jose State University. Serving as a Fulbright Lecturer/ Research Scholar at the University of Trondheim, Norway in 1991 was a highlight of my career. Along with Patterns for Success in Reading and Spelling (2nd ed.), my books include WORDS (2nd ed.), and Unlocking Literacy: Effective Decoding and Spelling Instruction (2nd ed.). I compiled and co-edited Dyslexia – Samuel T. Orton and His Legacy. I served as president of the International Dyslexia Association from 1992-1996 and received the Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award from the IDA in 2000. Now retired from active teaching, I am a Fellow in the Orton-Gillingham Academy and a member of the Board of Directors for The Reading Center.
Barbara Wilson

Barbara Wilson, Ed.D.

Barbara Wilson, Ed.D., is the co-founder and president of Wilson Language Training. She has worked to improve the lives of individuals with dyslexia for over 30 years. Barbara developed and oversaw graduate courses and clinical practicums that lead to Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner and Therapist certifications, which are accredited International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Tier 3 training programs. This certification is also an integral component for several university programs. Barbara is a founding member of the Global Implementation Society as she is dedicated to implementation and co-edited an International Dyslexia Association publication on this subject with an emphasis on how to bridge the gap between research, educational legislation, and classroom instruction. In 2015, she testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee in support of H.R. 3033, the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia (READ) Act, which was later signed into law
Arlene Sonday

Arlene Sunday

Arlene Sonday trained in the Orton-Gillingham Approach in Rochester, MN. She is a founding member and past president of UMBIDA, past vice-president of IDA, Founding Fellow and first president of the Orton Gillingham Academy. She is a founding member of Orton-Gillingham of Minnesota and guided OGM to certification by IMSLEC. Arlene is the author of the Sonday System, 15 curricula for Special Ed, classroom, and homeschool, and co-author of controlled readers, published by Winsor Learning of Bloomington, MN. She taught courses and supervised practica at Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ, that led to the 30 credit Dyslexia Specialist Certificate program and has graduated close to 1,000 students and continues to serve on the FDU Advisory Board. Arlene has taught courses and presented at conferences in India, Pakistan, Thailand, China, Egypt, Kuwait, England and Jamaica.
Bette Erickson

Bette Erickson

Bette’s career in education took a turn when her then eight-year-old daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia. She has since had the pleasure of volunteering as an education policy advocate on the local, state and national level-including a visit to the White House. Her affiliations include the International Dyslexia Association, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Literate Nation, Decoding Dyslexia MN, the MN Reading Corps, and MOMs on a Mission. She has met the certification standards of IMSLEC and CERI and maintains a robust tutoring practice.
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.