International Dyslexia Association Accredits Eight Universities for Meeting Teacher Preparation Standards in Reading

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International Dyslexia Association Accredits Eight Universities
for Meeting Teacher Preparation Standards in Reading

Teachers who are Better Prepared Lessen the Impact of Reading Difficulties

BALTIMORE, May 14, 2014
 – The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) announced today that eight university programs in the U.S. have received accreditation from IDA for having met the standards outlined in the IDA’s Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading.

The IDA Standards provide a framework for course content in university and other teacher preparation programs, offering the most thorough, research-supported documentation of what every teacher ought to know and be able to demonstrate, whether they are teaching dyslexic students, other struggling readers or the general student population.

The schools accredited by IDA this round are: Antioch University Midwest; Dallas Baptist University; Gordon College; Mississippi College; Notre Dame College; University of Dayton; University of Florida; and William Carey University. A complete listing of the schools’ programs is below.

“In this second round, we had another group of strong schools — a mix of major universities and dyslexia therapy programs,” said Elisabeth Liptak, IDA’s Director of Professional Development. “A number of schools are eager to be accredited by IDA. It gives them a competitive advantage when recruiting students in local markets.”

IDA conducts university reviews every two years. Recognized in 2012, when IDA began reviewing university reading programs, were: College of Mount Saint Joseph; Colorado College; Fairleigh Dickinson; MGH Institute of Health Professions; Saint Joseph’s (Philadelphia); Simmons College; Southeastern University; Southern Methodist University; and University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

From January through March 2014, IDA conducted the reviews and evaluated their alignment with the IDA Standards. Three highly qualified, independent reviewers were assigned to each university. The review entailed a thorough look at course syllabi and other course materials and requirements, interviews with program directors, and a site visit to the school.

The IDA Standards emphasize the need for teachers to be more deeply prepared in the structure of language, including the speech sound system, the writing system, the structure of sentences, the meaningful parts of words, meaning relationships among words and their referents, and the organization of spoken and written discourse.

“It is really encouraging to see that more and more schools are interested in building their programs and working towards accreditation with IDA. It takes a lot of effort, but in the end, the results are certainly worth it,” said Dr. Suzanne Carreker, Chair of IDA’s Professional Development Committee and Secretary of IDA’s Board. “If teachers are better prepared to teach our students to read, the impact of reading difficulties, including dyslexia, will be lessened. IDA believes that all students deserve appropriate instruction and support so that they can reach their full potential.”

The long-term goal of the Standards initiative is to promote consistent and high-quality teacher preparation that will improve the educational outcomes for all students, especially those who struggle with written language. “By accrediting these programs, we are raising awareness so that other universities will take their lead,” added Liptak.

The IDA plans to offer individual certification for teachers based on the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading in 2016.

About the International Dyslexia Association

The International Dyslexia Association is a non-profit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to the study and treatment of dyslexia as well as related language-based learning differences. The IDA operates 43 branches throughout the United States and Canada and has global partners in 20 countries, including Australia, Brazil, England, Germany, Ireland, and Japan.

For additional information please visit For media inquiries, please contact Lisa Harlow of Clapp Communications at (410) 561-8886 or at

University Programs Accredited by IDA

(aligned with the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards)

Antioch University Midwest (Ohio)
Dyslexia Certificate Program

Dallas Baptist University (Texas)
Master of Arts in Teaching
Multisensory Instruction

Gordon College (Massachusetts)
Master of Education: Reading Specialist

Mississippi College (Mississippi)
Master of Education: Dyslexia Therapy

Notre Dame College (Ohio)
Reading Endorsement

University of Dayton (Ohio)
Undergraduate (Early Childhood Education, Middle Childhood Education, Intervention Specialist)
Graduate Reading Endorsement

University of Florida (Florida)
Unified Elementary Proteach Dual Certification

William Carey University (Mississippi)
Master of Education: Dyslexia Therapy