YELLOW SPRINGS — Antioch University Midwest will launch one of 17 dyslexia certification programs accredited by the International Dyslexia Association next month, in response to the state of Ohio integrating more standards for teachers to abide to regarding the disability.
“We have a huge deficit of teachers who are trained to work with students with dyslexia,” Genya Devoe, who wrote the certification program, said. “Those students are at a huge disadvantage in our schools. The teachers are doing the best they can to work with those students, but the majority of them are not specifically trained in dyslexia. By completing our program, they then have received the training specific to working with students with dyslexia.”
Beginning in Mid-October, the program will exist exclusively online and will consist of six courses. Students will start with introduction to dyslexia, which highlights the definition of dyslexia according to the IDA, as well as traits of dyslexic readers; foundations in psychology of reading, which focuses on language development and the scientific basis of reading; advanced phonics, heavily focusing on the multisensory structured language approach, which is what’s used to teach dyslexic readers; diagnosis and assessment, focusing on referal and placement of dyslexic students; as well as two final courses that will allow certification students to work with dyslexic students to apply what they have learned.
The amount of time the certification will take to complete will be contingent on how many courses the student is willing to take at a time. The program allows flexibility in the amount of classes they can take in one term, but they must be taken in the sequence.
“We’ve had a lot of inquiry from people outside of the state, so we wanted to give them the opporotunity to take our program,” Devoe said. “There’s a lot of demand for it … When we started adding information to the website about the program, we had a lot of interest from out of the area, and that led us to decide to put the program online.”
Although the certification program has teachers in mind, it is open to all individuals who are interested. Devoe said those studying or working within the speech and language pathologist field have expressed an interest in the program.
“The state doesn’t yet have a specific credential for dyslexia, so teachers now who are working [with dyslexic students] generally are intervention specialists and/or reading specialists,” Devoe said. “There’s very specific training and things are different than just teaching reading even to struggling readers [in regards to] students with dyslexia.”