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Note from our President

Welcome to the International Dyslexia Association of Northern California. We are committed to providing you with information about dyslexia through our website resources. IDA Northern California is notable for our powerful dyslexia simulation, Experience Dyslexia®. This simulation has led to greater awareness of dyslexia across the country and around the world. Please browse our website to learn more!
Mary Cancelmo
International Dyslexia Association –
Northern California (IDA NorCal





Free Expert Webinar Series on Dyslexia

The California Dyslexia Initiative has launched Understanding Dyslexia & Literacy, a free monthly webinar series featuring nationally recognized experts in the field. The series is hosted by the Sacramento County Office of Education in partnership with Glean Education, and is designed for a wide audience, including educators of all types as well as parents.
The hour-long monthly webinar series began in September and will be offered on the first Thursday of the month, 3pm-4pm Pacific time, through April 2022 (no webinar in December). Webinars will also be archived for future viewing. 
For a list of presenters, topics and dates, click here.  IDA NorCal Advisory Board member Nancy Cushen White, EdD, will be presenting on November 4, 2021.

New California Reading Law Tightens Teaching Standards

Governor Newsom recently signed Senate Bill 488 (Rubio, D-Baldwin Park) which will require the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to revise and strengthen teaching standards for licensure for new teachers that incorporate both the science of reading and the California Dyslexia Guidelines. 
The new law will require that accredited teacher preparation programs meet higher standards and also be required to certify that existing accredited teacher preparation programs are aligned with the new teaching standards.

The new law will sunset the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (or “RICA) and it will be replaced with a new Literacy Teaching Performance Assessment.

Governor Newsom Accepts NorCal IDA’s 2020 Leadership Award

In this uplifting, deeply personal video message, IDA NorCal’s 2021 dyslexia achievement honoree, Governor Gavin Newsom, looks back on how evaluations described him when he was a young boy struggling in school. He notes that terms like “lacked confidence,” “gave up easily” and “seemed overwhelmed” would not have predicted a path to the governor’s office.  Newsom stresses the importance of caring, informed teachers and parents in supporting students like him and thanks the IDA community for nurturing the strengths of students with learning differences.   Newsom was honored for his leadership on behalf of individuals with dyslexia at the IDA NorCal annual membership meeting, held virtually on January 23, 2021.

IDA Dyslexia Handbook: What Every Family Should Know

IDA Dyslexia Handbook CoverIn addition to offering valuable information about dyslexia and its characteristics, this handbook provides information on assessments, effective teaching approaches, self-advocacy ideas, and a vast array of resources.

Further, the handbook contains information that will be useful throughout a child’s life, from elementary school through college. The degree of difficulty a child with dyslexia has with reading, spelling, and/or speaking varies from person to person due to inherited differences in brain development, as well as the type of teaching the child receives.

It is crucial to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of dyslexia so that a child can be evaluated early and obtain the appropriate instruction and accommodations he or she needs to succeed in school.

We encourage you to share this handbook. The more families we can inform, the more children we can help!

Download the handbook here!



  • Dyslexia is the most common learning disability with 15-20% of the population showing symptoms of dyslexia. Learn More

  • It is a language-based learning disability and is not related to intelligence– plenty of very bright people have dyslexia.
  • There are many successful people with dyslexia such as Henry Winkler, Caitlyn Jenner (previously known as Bruce Jenner), Whoopi Goldberg and Charles Schwab.
  • IDA has established standards for teachers of reading. These research-based standards are helpful for all and critical for students with dyslexia.

Black Lives Matter

IDA NorCal believes that learning to read is a civil right. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and pledge to work towards erasing racial disparities that impede the quality of literacy instruction our children deserve. We are committed to advocating for all students, especially those who have dyslexia. until everyone can read. IDA NorCal will do more to contribute to a community where racism has no place and where Black lives, education and opportunities matter. #Blacklivesmatter #Untileveryonecanread

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