» Cognitive Diversity: Embracing Difference

The 2nd Annual Dyslexia Conference, entitled Cognitive Diversity: Embracing Difference, will take place on October 28, 2016 at Chapman University in the George Bush Conference Center, Beckman Hall 404. The Summit is a public interdisciplinary conference at Chapman and will explore the science of dyslexia, which affects up to 1 in 5 people. There is increasing evidence that many people with learning differences have moved past their challenges to become some of the most successful creators, artists, entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the world.

Our first Summit was an incredible success and our panelists/speakers included Dr.Fumiko Hoeft, Jack Horner, Ben Foss and Richard Bausch. This year’s Summit will highlight neuro-diversity, creating inclusive classroms, and the strengths of the dyslexic brain. It will be a coming together of scientists, educators, successful dyslexics (Chapman Faculty and students included), parents of dyslexics, and many more.

The conference will be sponsored by the President's Office and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

President Daniele Struppa is excited about this year's Summit. "What we wish to highlight in this conference is the new science of dyslexia that is being developed," said President Struppa. "We hope we can encourage universities to look at students with dyslexia as an asset, not simply as a group that needs special accommodation. These summits, which we plan to hold every year, focus on the fact that there is a a very high incidence of extraordinarily succcessful people and creative geniuses in the dyslexic community."

Highlights of the Conference:

Maryanne Wolf

Maryanne Wolf is the John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research, and a professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University.

She received her doctorate from Harvard University, where she began her work on the neurological underpinnings of reading, language and dyslexia. Most recently, she has conducted studies in reading intervention, early prediction, fluency and naming speed, cross-linguistic studies of reading and the relationship between entrepreneurial talents and dyslexia.

The author of numerous scientific publications, Professor Wolf’s most recent book, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain (HarperCollins, 2007), was written for the general public and translated into 13 languages. Described as one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly, it received the Marek Award from the New York International Dyslexia Association for the best book of the year on reading.

Among Professor Wolf’s honors are the Distinguished Professor of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Psychological Association, the Teaching Excellence Award from the American Psychological Association and the Distinguished Researcher Award from Tufts University. For her work on dyslexia, she has received a Fulbright Research Fellowship, the Norman Geschwind Lecture Award from the International Dyslexia Association and the Alice Ansara Award. With colleagues Robin Morris and Maureen Lovett, Professor Wolf received the Shannon Award for Innovative Research from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and several multiyear NICHD grants to investigate new approaches to reading intervention, including the RAVE-O reading-intervention program, created by Professor Wolf and members of the reading center at Tufts.


Jonathan Mooney

Jonathan Mooney is a writer and learning activitst who did not learn to read until he was 12 years old. In 1997, as an undergraduate at Brown University, Jonathan co-founded Project Eye-To-Eye, a non-profit advocacy organization for students with learning differences. He has written two books, Learning Outside the Lines and The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal. Both books are considered foundational texts in the disability rights movement, the inclusive eduation movement, and the learning revolution. Jonathan is a highly sought after speaker on neurodiversity, education reform, the learning revolution, and creating college and career pathways for at risk youth.