Understanding Dyslexia

Professional Development Offering

Would you like to better understand dyslexia and how it affects students’ reading ability?

There are many reasons why students have difficulty with reading and writing skills. For 10 – 15% of students the cause is dyslexia, a neurobiological learning disability that is characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and poor spelling. This professional development provides the background knowledge about dyslexia that educators need in order to understand why students with dyslexia have difficulty with reading and how to support them in the classroom. Click here to download a printable flyer.

Training Description

This offering totals approximately 6 hours of professional learning time. Topics include:

What is dyslexia?

  • one type of specific learning disability, dyslexia defined and myths, signs of dyslexia

The Reading Brain

  • how the brain learns to read, dyslexia and the brain

Dyslexia and the Five Components of Reading

  • dyslexia and The Simple View of reading, effects of dyslexia on decoding/vocabulary/comprehension, emotional and motivational consequences, accommodations and modifications

Screening for Dyslexia

  • screening early, screening vs formal diagnosis, suggested screening battery

Effective Instruction for Students with Dyslexia

  • early intervention, overview of structured literacy instruction, teaching principles including gradual release, explicit and systematic instruction, differentiation, and scaffolding

Structured Literacy Instruction – Sounds

  • phonemic awareness, basic routines for blending/segmenting, advanced instruction for phoneme manipulation

Structured Literacy Instruction – Sound-Symbol Correspondences

  • the alphabetic principle, explicit phonics instruction, teaching letter-sound correspondences, phonics scope and sequence, blending and segmenting activities

Structured Literacy Instruction – Syllable Types

  • six syllable types, syllable division

Structured Literacy Instruction – Morphemes

  • prefixes/suffixes/roots, combining syllabication with structural analysis to read multisyllable words


Professional development for this course is available as live training onsite at schools, virtual-live format using Zoom, asynchronous online course, or facilitated online course.

Contact Keys to Literacy to learn how to provide this professional development to educators in your school or organization.

State Specific Approved Versions of the Course

Arizona DOE Approved Version for Dyslexia Designee Training

A customized version of Understanding Dyslexia has been approved to meet the requirements for Understanding and Recognizing Dyslexia (URD) dyslexia designee training. Click here for more details, or contact us.

Oregon DOE Approved Version for Dyslexia Training

A customized version of Understanding Dyslexia has been approved to meet the requirements for Understanding and Recognizing Dyslexia (URD) dyslexia training. Click here for details, or contact us.

Who should participate?

K-5 teachers of any subject, educators who provide support to older, struggling readers, literacy specialists and coaches, and administrators.

Contact Keys to Literacy today to learn more about Letterland!

Contact Us to Get Started


We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and the impact on our employees and the schools where we provide professional development.

During this time period when onsite, face-to-face training and coaching is not possible, we offer multiple options for accessing our literacy PD content and instructional practices.

If you are a current or new partner, explore our website or contact us to learn more about: