Dyslexia is a language based learning disability impacting up to an estimated 20% of the population (according to the International Dyslexia Association). Early detection and specific instructional methods have been determined as significant keys-to-success for those struggling against the challenges the disability presents. In this episode, we’ll learn more about the disability, how it goes undetected and ways we can help dyslexic students be successful in reading and learning. All this and more insightful information in today’s discussion with Daphne Uliana, founder of the Dyslexia and Literacy Network.

Skip to: 02:44 Define dyslexia.

“Basically, your brain is wired differently if you’re dyslexic. It is a neurobiological condition, meaning you are born with it. It’s hereditary.”

Skip to: 03:46 Different forms of Dyslexia
Skip to: 05:29 Dyslexia Screening and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program
Skip to: 07:24 How early can dyslexia be detected in children?
Skip to: 12:35 What role does the school play in early detection, if it is not being detected at home?

Not all kids who struggle to read are dyslexic, but all dyslexics will struggle to read.

Skip to: 14:07 What kinds of measures can be carried out to help a child succeed in his/her educational path?
Skip to: 17:59 What are some resources for schools who need support ensuring that a child’s needs are being met, once dyslexia is identified?
Skip to: 20:29 What are some resources for parents?

Daphne Uliana, Founder, Dyslexia and Literacy Network

For 25 years, Daphne Uliana was a campaign aide and fundraiser to the former Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives John Perzel. She was a campaign aide to Congressman Charlie Dent as well as managed numerous campaigns for state Senate, state House and Court of Common Pleas Judges.
Inspired by struggles with her three dyslexic children, Daphne along with other advocates, helped to pass Act 69 of 2014, which established a pilot program to screen all children for reading difficulty in eight school districts in Pennsylvania. In 2018, she helped to pass a two-year extension for the pilot program, and she along with another parent advocate, was instrumental in having an audio version of the Pennsylvania driver’s manual placed online. In 2018, Daphne started the Dyslexia and Literacy Network, an all-volunteer nonprofit to help parents who have children that struggle to read and advocate for change and more awareness of Dyslexia. She also established the Literacy Coalition; a nonprofit focused on awareness of quality reading instruction for all children.

Uliana is a member of the Boards of Trustees for The Gow School in South Wales, New York. In the past, she served on the Hillside School Board of Trustees and the Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. Beginning in the fall of 2019 she will be an Advisory Board Member of H.E.L.P. Program at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia and a member of the Policy Committee for the Learning Disabilities Association of America.

Daphne Uliana is married to former State Senator Joe Uliana, who is the Managing Principal at JM Uliana & Associates, a Pennsylvania based lobbying and public affairs firm. She has three children: Nicholas 23, Samuel 21, and Lauren 15.