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October 28, 2021 @ 5:30pm
One event on October 29, 2021 at 9:00am
Keynote speakers announced for 2021 Dyslexia Symposium on Oct. 28-29
Montana State University announced the keynote speakers for its upcoming 2021 Dyslexia and Innovation: Symposium of Changemakers, to be held Thursday, Oct. 28 and Friday, Oct. 29. The virtual event, which is free and open to the public, will spotlight the strengths of the dyslexic mind. It also aligns with National Dyslexia Month, which takes place in October.
Nationally known dyslexia author David Flink will speak at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 28 and polar explorer Ann Bancroft will speak at 9 a.m. Oct. 29. The events will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. to noon, respectively.
Flink is the author of the book “Thinking Differently” which is a guide to how neurodiverse individuals thrive and excel in today’s world. In addition, he is the founder of Eye to Eye Inc., a dyslexia peer mentoring program that partners college students with high schoolers through 130 local chapters nationwide. Flink was named a 2021 CNN Hero for his work to support students with learning disabilities.
Bancroft is the first known woman to reach the North Pole by foot and sled; the first woman to cross the polar ice caps to reach both poles; the leader of the first American women’s east-west crossing of Greenland; and the leader of the first all-female expedition to the South Pole. She is also the founder of the Ann Bancroft Foundation, a youth empowerment organization that teaches girls to unleash the power of their dreams. In 2001, she was named among Glamour Magazine’s “Woman of the Year.”
Along with the keynotes, the two-day event will feature nationally and regionally recognized speakers and group panel discussions. Speakers include: Todd “Hammer” Semmes, who is known for special effects in the film industry and recognized for his work on the “Spider-Man” and “Mission Impossible” series in the 2000s; Jody Turner, a trend forecaster; Linda Rost, the 2020 Montana Teacher of the Year and high school teacher from Baker, Montana; Juliana Robinson, the 2019 Montana Association of School Psychologists’ School Psychologist of the Year who currently works at Belgrade Middle School.
Other scheduled guests are Alex Hackel, a street-style skiing pioneer and X Games medalist in the Real Ski event; Shawn Anthony Robinson, creator of the graphic novel “Doctor Dyslexia Dude,” which is about an African American boy who is also a dyslexic superhero; Kimberly Newton Fusco, author of four novels for young readers; and Daphne Benedis-Grab, award-winning author of young adult books. Additionally there will be a panel of MSU undergraduates and recent graduates, including Cole Arthur, Emilie Schroder and Melissa Widas, who will talk about the future surrounding dyslexia.
Registration is required for the event. All registered participants will have access to the recorded sessions for 30 days after the event. All K-12 Montana educators in attendance will receive renewal credits for participation in the symposium. For the complete DXI 2021 schedule and to register, visit montana.edu/dxi.
The 2021 Dyslexia and Innovation: Symposium of Changemakers is made possible through the support of the Office of Vice President of Research and Economic Development and the Office of the President. Event sponsors for DXI 2021 include Decoding Dyslexia Montana, Eye to Eye Inc., Joseph James Morelli Legacy Foundation and READMontana.