The Right To Read Inquiry & Making the Change
The Right to Read Initiative & Repeated Readings
Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read
President of International Dyslexia Association (IDA), Ontario
Alicia worked hard early in life to hide her dyslexia. Although she quickly learned computers could disguise her challenges, her secret was discovered in high school after submitting her first essay exam. Fortunately, a caring teacher arranged for her to be tested and she was given the option to write future exams on a computer, an accommodation that was not common at the time. Uncertain how she would manage in post-secondary without this accommodation, Alicia enrolled at the University of King’s College in Halifax where first-year students take oral debate-style exams. With written exams on the horizon for the second year, Alicia chose to leave university to pursue her passion for cooking. After training at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Alicia spent seven years working as a chef aboard luxury yachts. In 2004, after settling down with her husband in a small town near Georgian Bay she returned to school to study web development and computer science. After her first child was identified as dyslexic, Alicia became passionate about supporting him and changing public perception. She knew doing this would require her to do something she had hidden from her entire life. To stand with her son and others facing similar experiences she made an active choice to start speaking openly about her own challenges.