2019 Keynote Speakers


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2019 IDA Florida Conference

Keynote Speakers


Dr. Charley W. Haynes is a Professor and Clinical Supervisor in the Graduate Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions.  He received his doctorate in Reading, Language, and Learning Disabilities under Jeanne Chall at Harvard Graduate School of Education.  With colleagues at Landmark School, Dr. Haynes developed the nation’s first language based program tailored for children with dyslexia and expressive language disorders.  At the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, Dr. Haynes worked with friend and colleague Dr. Pamela Hook to create a MS curriculum that offers dual teacher certification in both Speech-Language Pathology and Reading.  A specialist in the area of expressive spoken and written language development strategies, Dr. Haynes has given many keynotes, workshops, and invited addresses in the USA, Asia, Europe, South America, and the Middle East.

Areas of expertise/knowledge:

Practical strategies for supporting oral and written expression in English Language Learners and students with learning difficulties.

Strategies international and cross-cultural comparisons of children and/or adults with learning disabilities

Early detection and early intervention for language learning disabilities.


Emerson Dickman is Past President of the International Dyslexia Association and a former member of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities.  Emerson is a member of the Professional Advisory Board of the Center for Development and Learning, the Professional Advisory Board of The Children’s Dyslexia  Centers, Inc. a charity of the Scottish Rite, was a member of the Professional Advisory Board for the National Center for Learning Disabilities for six years, a member of the Learning Disabilities Roundtable sponsored by the Division of Research to Practice of the U.S. Department of Education, and Chairman of the Protection and Advocacy Agency for the State for the State of New Jersey for five years.  In 1994 and again in 2002, he served as Chair of the scientific consensus meetings sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institute of Health resulting in the research definition of Dyslexia used in research throughout the United States of America.  In 2004, Emerson organized an invitational forum attended by 33 organizations to address the issue of RtI and building Capacity to Deliver Multi-Tiered Reading Intervention in Public Schools.

Emerson has been an invited speaker at conferences in 26 states, Hong Kong, England, Brazil, India, and the Czech Republic.

Among the cases he has handled are leading precedents (New Jersey Supreme Court) protecting due process rights of pupils in special education and the constitutional rights of adults with developmental disabilities.

Emerson has received numerous honors including the 2012 Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Dyslexia Association.

Emerson’s legal practice has specialized in advocating for individuals with disabilities for over 40 years.


Nancy Hennessy M.Ed., LDT-C, educational consultant and past president of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), is an experienced teacher and administrator. While in public schools, she provided leadership in the development of professional learning systems, innovative programming for special needs student, and a statewide revision of special education code.  Nancy has consulted on varied topics ranging from professional practices to student assessment and instruction.  She has designed and delivered keynote addresses as well as virtual and live workshops and training courses to educators nationally and internationally.

Nancy co-authored Module 6 of LETRS, Digging for Meaning: Teaching Text Comprehension (2ndedition) with Louisa Moats and was a national trainer for Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS).  Additionally, she has written articles on varied topics as well as the chapter, Working with Word Meaning: Vocabulary Instruction, in Multisensory Teaching of Basic Skills (4thedition).  She was the recipient of the International Dyslexia Association’s Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award.


Dr. Eric Tridas is Director of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics at Pediatric Epilepsy and Neurology Specialists, Clinical Associate Professor in Pediatrics at the University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, member of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD), and Associate member for the Advisory Committee on Exceptional Children and Youth for the Office of Oversea Schools, United States Department of State.  Dr. Tridas is Past President of the International Dyslexia Association and the 2017 recipient of IDA’s Margaret Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award.  Dr. Tridas is a Developmental Pediatrician who specializes in the diagnosis and management of neurodevelopmental conditions, he lectures nationally and internationally.  He edited and co-authored From ABC to ADHD: What Every Parent Should Know About Dyslexia and Attention Problems.


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