Demystifying Dyslexia Day January 26th at Millersville

On Saturday, January 26, Millersville University will share speakers on dyslexia with our community.  Depending on the definition used for dyslexia (which occurs at different levels), between 5-10% of the population is affected by this language-based learning disability. The day will feature different perspectives and discussions to further personal and professional knowledge about this disorder.

The event will commence in the morning at the Winter Center (60 West Cottage Ave) on Millersville campus, and move to Stayer Building for breakout sessions in the afternoon.  Admission is free and open to the public, excluding the lunch session with Marilyn Bartlett, which is $12.


Registration is required. A small fee ($5 per credit) will be charged for those desiring CEU or Act 48 credits.


  • 8:00 Coffee and Registration
  • 9:00 Welcome (Dr. Jill Craven)
  • 9:15 Dyslexia, Its Subtypes, and Testing (Dr. Margaret Kay)
  • 10:15 Break
  • 10:30 Dyslexia: A Strength, Not a Weakness (Ms. Sara Page Stinchcomb)
  • 10:45 Raising Faith (a film on dyslexia by Dr. Stacey Irwin)

LUNCH and KEYNOTE ($12, GORDINIER HALL–Free for MU Students with ID)

  • 12:00 Lunch: Gordinier Hall, Lehr room
  • 12:30 Telling Her Story: The Marilyn Bartlett Case (Dr. Marilyn Bartlett)
Marilyn J Bartlett, J.D., Ph.D._Apr12

Dr. Marilyn Bartlett, J.D., Ph.D. , former Dean and Professor at Texas A&M University, is a person who is dyslexic. She requested accommodations on the NY Bar Exam and was denied.  Dr. Bartlett argued in court that she should receive accommodations on the test based on her learning disability and slow reading speed due to dyslexia. After a ten year battle, she won the case for herself and all of those persons who are protected by the ADA-AA and need accommodations for their disabilities when studying in post-secondary institutions and taking professional exams. Her case is still good law in the Second Circuit


2:00 Breakout Session I (Stayer Hall)

  1.   Getting help in college (Audience: 1, 4)
    Julianne Browne
  2.    Helping with Homework (Audience: 1, 2)
    Kevin Ghaffari, Abby Rissinger, Sara Page Stinchcomb
  3.   “What is the difference among IDEA, the ADA-AA2008 and Sec 504” (Audience: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
    Dr. Marilyn J Bartlett
  4.   “How Dyslexia Presents” (Simulation Session) (Audience: 1, 2, 3, 6)
    Dr. Janet Josephson
  5.  “The International Dyslexia Association’s  (IDA) Knowledge and Practice Standards for teacher of reading”—(Audience: 3,5)
    Dr. Pamela M. Kastner

2:45 Breakout Session II (Stayer Hall)

  1. How to be a better self-advocate. (Audience: 1, 2, 4, 6)
    Kevin Ghaffari, Abby Rissinger, and Sara Page Stinchcomb
  2.  “The process of being tested”  (Audience: 1, 2, 4, 6)
    Dr. Margaret Kay
  3. “Transitioning:  Middle School to High School to College to Graduate School” (Audience: 1, 2, 4, 6)
    Dr. Marilyn J Bartlett
  4.  “Beyond Blending and Segmenting: Advanced Phonemic Awareness”
    (Audience: 6)
    Dr. Pamela M. Kastner
  5. “Psychological basis of Dyslexia and Co-morbid Conditions” (Audience: 2, 3, 4, 6)
    Kathy Halligan and Helen Mannion

3:30   Breakout Session III  (Stayer Hall)

  1.   “How to be Successful as a Student with Dyslexia” (Audience: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6)
    Kevin Ghaffari, Abigail Rissinger, Sara Page Stinchcomb
  2.    Offerings of the Childrens Dyslexia Center in Lancaster (Audience: 6)
    Heather Hinkel, Director of the Children’s Dyslexia Center
  3.  “Making a Game Plan for Raising a Child with Dyslexia” (Audience:  2)
    Dr. Marilyn Bartlett
  4.  “Beyond Blending and Segmenting: Advanced Phonemic Awareness”  PART 2
    (Audience: 6)
    Dr. Pamela M. Kastner
  5.   “Multi-Sensory Reading Programs” (Audience: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6)
    Kathy Halligan and Helen Mannion
Demystifying Dyslexia Poster

4:20-5pm Stayer Refreshments

Audience Key:

  1. Students
  2. Parents
  3. Teachers and Future Teachers
  4. Counselors
  5. Administrators, Advocates and Attorneys
  6. Everyone


Dr. Marilyn Bartlett, J.D., Ed. D.
Dr. Bartlett is a Retired Dean and Professor of Educational Administration, Law and Policy at Texas A&M University.  Currently Dr. Bartlett is an Advocate for students and parents who are requesting services from schools K-16.  As the plaintiff in Bartlett v New York Board of Law Examiners (2001), Dr. Bartlett won rights to accommodations under the ADA for dyslexics.

Ms. Julianne Browne, Learning Services, Millersville University
Retired English teacher, Cecil County Public Schools
Current Department Secretary, Office of Learning Services, Millersville University

 Dr. Jill Craven, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of English, Professor of Film Studies, Millersville University

Mr. Kevin Ghaffari, MPS
Special Education Teacher, Millersville University Education Foundations Part-time Faculty Member

Ms. Kathy Halligan
Language Arts Teacher, Delaware Valley Friends School.  Kathy trained at Teacher’s College with Judith Birsh in the Orton Gillingham Program. She is also trained in The Wilson Reading System, Just Words, Fundations, and the Read Naturally Fluency Program. 

Ms. Heather Hinkel
Center Director, Children’s Dyslexia Center of Lancaster

Dr. Stacey Irwin, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication and Theatre, Millersville University

Dr. Janet Josephson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Early, Middle, and Exceptional Education, Millersville University

Dr. Pamela M. Kastner, Ed. D.
Literacy Statewide Lead, Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network [PaTTAN]

Dr. Margaret Kay, Ed.D. NCSP, FABPS
Licensed Psychologist, Nationally Certified School Psychologist, Fellow, American Board of Psychological Specialties with Forensic Specialization in Educational & School Psychology. Dr. Kay has been in private practice since 1980 and is often relied upon by parents and schools to perform Independent Educational Evaluations (IEE’s) for school-age children and college students. Dr. Kay has a doctorate in Educational & School Psychology with a specialization in child neuropsychology and has testified as an expert in a number of Dyslexia cases. The title of her doctoral dissertation was: Cognitive Predictors of the Dyslexia Syndrome and she is a lifetime member of the International Dyslexia Association.

Ms. Helen Mannion, M. Ed., CALT,
Director of Teacher Training, and Director of Language and Literacy Remediation, Delaware Valley Friends School

Ms. Abigail Rissinger
Millersville University Student, Dyslexic Student Advocate

Ms. Sara Page Stinchcomb
Lancaster Country Day Student, Dyslexic Student Advocate


These events were generously supported by Millersville’s Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change, the Dean of the School of Art, Humanities and Social Sciences,  the Dean of the School of Education, the Department of English, and the Office of the Provost.


Resources will be presented by