Danger! Poison! Radio Active! High Voltage!

Danger! Poison! Radio Active! High Voltage!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every message of importance could be so easily communicated? Unfortunately, in the real world, shallow sound bites might sell magazines and win elections, but they rarely solve real problems. An inevitable result of increasing one’s knowledge is the humility that develops as you discover the true vastness of what you don’t know. Francis Bacon once said, “A prudent question is half of wisdom.” The reason we are all at the 59th Annual Conference of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) is because we know enough to have prudent questions and realize that meaningful answers are often complex.

Not too many years ago Reid Lyon asked researchers throughout the country to answer three simple questions: 1) How do children learn to read? 2) Why do some children have difficulty learning to read? 3) How do you teach children who have difficulty learning to read?  We are all here today as part of our personal journeys to learn and understand the answers to these simple questions. Research has given us access to knowledge that is constantly being refined and interpreted for the purpose of developing increasingly effective instruction.  Unfortunately, the answers are not easily communicated. As Louisa Moats has indicated, “teaching reading is rocket science.”

We wouldn’t be here and you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t share the goal, the mission, and the purpose of IDA: to meet the needs of children and adults who find it difficult learning how to read. What I find most empowering about IDA is the sense of identity, community, belonging, and connectedness that I feel when I am with colleagues who not only know a lot, but also care a lot.

IDA is the most authoritative source for information regarding the remediation of reading difficulties. IDA offers our members the most current information on reading, literacy, and best practices at our conferences and in publications such as Dyslexia Matters,Perspectives on Language and LiteracyAnnals of Dyslexia, and Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

IDA is where research and practice meet to shape the future of literacy. If you are a member of IDA—the future for those who may find it difficult to learn to read is at your doorstep.  If you are not a member, please consider joining us in our mission of research, education, and advocacy.

Thank you for caring enough to be here today. Welcome to our conference and, if you have not been with us before, welcome to our family.

Source: Dickman, G.E., (2008). Danger! Poison! Radio Active! High Voltage!Perspectives on Language and Literacy, 34, 5 at p. 5