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Reading & Literacy Webinar

Oral Language Development: The Missing Link to Supporting Students with Dyslexia 

Wed., February 07, 2024, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET
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Dyslexia, a learning disability that makes it difficult to decipher and spell written words, affects about 20 percent of the population.

With recent awareness of dyslexia’s prevalence has come a push to provide students with evidence-based literacy instruction that promotes phonics-based skills acquisition to strengthen reading skills, especially for students with dyslexia. Leading educational researchers say that instruction using this method too often overlooks a critical skill needed for reading proficiency and comprehension: oral language development. 

Join us for this webinar as we uncover information about this “missing link” to achieving reading proficiency and comprehension with Tiffany Hogan, a professor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston and the director of the institute’s Speech and Language Literacy Lab, and MaryKate DeSantis, a former school-based reading specialist-turned-clinical research practitioner at the MGH Institute.

MaryKate DeSantis, Ed.M, CAS
Clinical Research Practitioner, Speech and Language (SAiL) Literacy Lab, MGH Institute of Health Professions
MaryKate DeSantis, Ed.M, CAS (she/her/hers) is a clinical researcher at MGH Institute of Health Professions in the Speech Language (SAiL) Literacy Lab. Prior to her role in research, she was a practitioner for Boston Public Schools for over a decade in a variety of roles including, a special educator, reading and inclusion specialist, and district wide literacy coach. She is the founder of Left Side Strong LLC, an organization that works to bridge the research to practice gaps in schools, support families and caregivers to understand their child’s learning profile and spread awareness in the science behind literacy and language learning. MaryKate is part of the Learning Disabilities Translational Science Collective research team as part of a five- year grant aimed to support the process in which students are identified with learning disabilities into practical solutions
Tiffany P. Hogan, PhD
Director of the SAiL Literacy Lab, Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders, MGH Institute of Health Professions
Tiffany P. Hogan, PhD, is a professor in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, director of the Speech and Language (SAiL) Literacy Lab and the center for translational research, implementation science, and dissemination for equity in CSD, (cTIDE), and Research Associate at Harvard University. Dr. Hogan has published over 100 papers on the genetic, neurologic, and behavioral links between oral and written language development, with a focus on improving assessment and intervention in schools, especially for neurodiverse children with Developmental Language Disorder, Dyslexia, and/or Speech Sound Disorders. Her advocacy for children with language, speech, and literacy disabilities has led her to co-found a DLD informational website:, host a podcast (, organize an annual conference on implementation science in CSD, and contribute information for articles in numerous news outlets including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, along with several television and radio appearances
Elizabeth Heubeck
Reporter, Education Week

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