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Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading

Dyslexia in the Classroom: What Every Teacher Needs to Know
IDA created this dyslexia resource kit for educators everywhere. The kit can help raise awareness, share best practices, and be a resource to the school’s administration and staff.


Definition of Dyslexia
“Dyslexia is characterized by difficulties with accurate and / or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002.
This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Many state education codes, including Ohio and Utah, have adopted this definition. Learn more about how consensus was reached on this definition: Definition Consensus Project.

Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading
The IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading (Knowledge and Practice Standards) provide a comprehensive research-based framework that articulates what all reading teachers and specialists should know and be able to demonstrate to teach reading successfully to all students. The focus of the Knowledge and Practice Standards is the structure of language and its component systems, their connections to design and delivery of instruction, and the complex nature of skilled reading. Such knowledge is critical in teaching those with dyslexia and other struggling readers, but all students can benefit from the Structured Literacy approach.  IDA Fact Sheet

Parent’s Guide to Effective Instruction Fact Sheet
Reading problems are the most common type of academic underachievement. Especially for students with dyslexia, learning to read and write can be exceedingly difficult. Dyslexia and related reading and language difficulties are the result of neurobiological variations, but they can be treated with effective instruction.   Read More.

Evaluating Professionals Fact Sheet
Many parents are unable to find effective instruction to meet the educational needs of their children. This situation is especially true for reading instruction. That is, most public school teachers are not trained in the scientifically based approaches that are effective for a child with dyslexia. The following guidelines will help you know what to ask and how to find and evaluate an educational professional independent of the school. This is especially necessary, if you feel that your child is not receiving adequate instructional services from a qualified teacher within the school.

How do I know if a professional is reputable or qualified?  Learn more.

PUSHING BACK: What to Say When Your School Gets It Wrong

IDA is committed to providing our Parent Members with current relevant information that will help their children reach their fullest potential. IDA has published a new advocacy document entitled Pushing Back: What to Say When Your School Gets It Wrong.

We encourage you to read this important information. A printable version and reference documents are available.

Reference Documents:


  • Center for Parent Information and Resources
  • Children of the Code
  • Family & Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE)
  • Family Resource Connection (FRC) of the NH State Library
  • Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR)
  • Haskins Laboratory
  • Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
  • National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)
  • Neuhaus Education Center
  • Project Read / Language Circle
  • The Institute on Disability/UAP
  • Wilson Language Training

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  • Developing Early Literacy – Report of National Early Literacy Panel
  • Put Reading First K – 3: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read
  • Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read Subgroup Reports
  • Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science – Louisa Moats
  • The State of Learning Disabilities 2014 – NCLD
  • Using Research & Reason in Education
  • What is Scientifically Based Research? A Guide for Teachers

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Assistive Technology

  • 2013 IDA Conference Handouts on Assistive and Instructional Technology
  • Assistive Technology: Resource Roundup | Edutopia
  • Helping Schools and Students Become Successful With Technology™- EdTech Associates
  • Software & Assistive Technology – Dyslexia Helps

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iPad Apps

  • iPad Archives – Teach Thought
  • 15 Apps For Improved Reading Comprehension by EDUTOPIA
  • 32 iPad Apps For Better Writing
  • 40 iPad Apps For Homeschooled Students by Teach Thought
  • 50 Popular iPad Apps For Struggling Readers & Writers by Teach Thought
  • Dr. Cheesman’s App Chat: Word Games and Logic Puzzles
  • iPad Applications, Accessories, and Modifications – UNH Institute on Disability
  • iPad Apps for Literacy Instruction By: Elaine Cheesman, Ph.D.

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