About Us

About Us

Oregon IDA Dyslexia



IDA Oregon Branch
The International Dyslexia Association Oregon Branch focuses on increasing public awareness of how dyslexia affects both children and adults.

The IDA-Oregon Branch was founded in 1975 by Dorothy Blosser Whitehead and is one of 42 state branches and 22 global partners of the IDA. Our mission is to actively promote effective teaching approaches and intervention strategies for children and adults with dyslexia and related reading disorders.

In concert with several state and community partners in Oregon and Southwest Washington, we encourage and support interdisciplinary research into the causes and treatments for dyslexia and advocate for individuals, families and professionals alike.

We would love to assist you in finding the information you need to help with your personal or professional dyslexia related inquiries.  Please contact us at info@orbida.org. Our Information and Referral Specialist will get back to you as soon as possible.

The International Dyslexia Association
The International Dyslexia Association is an international organization that concerns itself with the complex issues of dyslexia. The IDA membership consists of a variety of professionals in partnership with dyslexics and their families.

We believe all individuals have the right to achieve their potential, that individual learning abilities can be strengthened and that social, educational, and cultural barriers to language acquisition and use must be removed.

The IDA actively promotes effective teaching approaches and related clinical educational intervention strategies for dyslexics. We support and encourage interdisciplinary study and research. We facilitate the exploration of the causes and early identification of dyslexia and are committed to the responsible and wide dissemination of research-based knowledge.

The Oregon Branch provides the following services:

  • Annual Conference
    Day-long conference featuring nationally recognized speakers, and including several workshops.
  • Outreach/Speakers Bureau
    Workshops demonstrating multi-sensory teaching techniques are presented on request to educators and parents. Workshops are held statewide and in Southwest Washington.
  • Scholarships to State and National Conferences
  • Connection to local dyslexia experts, businesses, parents, educators, and professionals.   Priceless!

IDA Oregon Branch History


  • 1976 Dorothy Whitehead
  • 1977 Lurena Davis
  • 1978 Sandra Whiting
  • 1979-1980 Doris Eisele
  • 1981 Bernice Peachy
  • 1982 Anne Hay
  • 1983 Dixie McKay
  • 1984-1985 Gloria Zeal Davis
  • 1986-1987 Kay Kaplan
  • 1988-1989 Diana Kerman
  • 1990-1991 Jane Arkes
  • 1992-1993 Dorothy Whitehead
  • 1994-1995 Elizabeth Barton
  • 1996-1997 Lynetta Weswig
  • 1998-1999 Gary Wright
  • 2000-2001 Dale Holloway
  • 2002-2003 Elizabeth Ramsey
  • 2004-2005 Karen Brown
  • 2006-2009 Judy Wright
  • 2010-2011 Cheryl Anthony
  • 2012-2015 Shelbe Park

IDA Board of Directors

  • 1986-1991 Gloria Zeal Davis
  • 2003-2004 Gary Wright

IDA Branch Council Executive Committee

  • 2000-2001 Gary Wright, Branch Council Secretary
  • 2002 Gary Wright, Branch Council Chair-Elect
  • 2003-2004 Gary Wright, Branch Council Chair

Recognized for outstanding service to the IDA Oregon Branch

  • 1995 Gloria Zeal Davis
  • 1995 Victor Flaming
  • 1995 Pat Robb
  • 1996 Dorothy Whitehead
  • 1997 Dale Holloway
  • 1997 Diana Kerman

Dale Holloway Service Award

  • 2009 Dale Holloway
  • 2010 Gloria Zeal Davis and Cherida Collins Smith
  • 2014 Jim Hansen
  • 2016 Myrna Soule
  • 2017 Judy and Gary Wright

IDA Remy Johnston Award Recipients

  • 2000 Jon Ruff, Remy Johnston Award
  • 2002 Evie Wyrick, Remy Johnston Award
  • 2006 Christopher Killmer, Certificate of Recognition

Key Events in Oregon Branch History

  • 1974     Branch Articles of Incorporation signed (Oregon Branch of The Orton Society).
  • 1975     First Annual Conference (Good Samaritan Hospital, “Beginning Early-Perspectives in Learning”)
  • 1976     Charter awarded on November 2.
  • 1978     First medical dinner.
  • 1981     First branch newsletter published.
  • 1982     Name changed to Oregon Branch of The Orton Dyslexia Society.
  • 1984     Language Skills Seminar developed (later known as Fundamentals of Written Language).
  • 1985     Gloria Zeal Davis elected to ODS Board of Directors.
  • 1986     Dale Holloway created the Reversals Groups at Lewis & Clark College.
  • 1988     Branch sponsored lecture by Dr. Zdenek Matejcek; Portland offered as site for 1991 national conference.
  • 1990     Multisensory tutor training program launched.
  • 1991     42nd National Conference (“Peak Performance”) held in Portland; Gloria Zeal Davis was national program chair; Diana Kerman was local arrangements chair. Dorothy Whitehead was awarded the Samuel T. Orton Award. Fundamentals of Written Language became a separate entity.
  • 1992     Outreach programs launched by Pat Robb.
  • 1997     Name changed to the Oregon Branch of The International Dyslexia Association. 22nd Annual Conference (“Soaring to New Heights: Succeeding with Learning Disabilities”) held for the first time outside of the Portland area at Chinook Winds Conference Center, Lincoln City.
  • 1998     Branch conducts its first fundraising campaign. Fundamentals of Written Language disbands and transfers the Barbara McAllister Endowment Fund to IDA Oregon Branch for use in meeting the needs of adults. 23rd Annual Conference (“Links to Literacy”) held at Holiday Inn Portland South, Wilsonville.
  • 1999     Branch moves into its first office, located in the 25th & Lovejoy Medical Building in Portland. IDA celebrates 50 Golden Years, and the Oregon Branch celebrates its Silver Jubilee. Oregon Branch establishes first web site (www.aracnet.com/~orbida).
  • 2000     Lynetta Weswig becomes Oregon Branch’s first Information and Referral Consultant, working out of the new office in Portland.
  • 2002     IDA Oregon Branch registers its own domain name and establishes an upgraded web site at www.orbida.org.
  • 2006     31st Annual Conference (“Hope Across the Lifespan”) held at Kingstad Center, Beaverton.
  • 2007     32nd Annual Conference (“Literacy: A Capital Idea!”) jointly sponsored with OSPA (Oregon School Psychologists Association) held at Salem Conference Center, Salem.
  • 2008     33rd Annual Conference (“Literacy Across the Spectrum”) held at LaSells Stewart Center, Corvallis.
  • 2009     34th Annual Conference (“The Four R’s: Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic, Research”) held in cooperation with OSPA at Portland Airport Sheraton, Portland.
  • 2010     35th Annual Conference (“A Day with Anita Archer: Dynamic Vocabulary Instruction”) held at Portland Airport Holiday Inn, Portland.

The Oregon Branch gratefully acknowledges support from Cherida Collins Smith who has generously funded scholarships for Oregon Branch teachers to the IDA national conferences for many years. Dozens of teachers and hundreds of their students have benefited from her extraordinary gifts.


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