DSF Literacy and Clinical Services (The Dyslexia-SPELD Foundation of WA inc.) has provided vital support to West Australian children and adults with learning disabilities for over 40 years. It remains committed to improving the level of support provided to children and adults with learning disabilities and to the community’s understanding of specific learning disabilities, in particular dyslexia.

DSF continues to focus on ensuring that children and adults with learning disabilities are supported adequately and appropriately, and that all students are provided with the opportunity to achieve their potential. In addition it provides advice and support to families and educators on successful literacy acquisition, evidence-based practice, and the strategies most likely to improve literacy outcomes for all students. Our role includes supporting and advising students, adults and families directly, as well as indirectly through the support and advice provided at a school or employment level.

Upcoming Events

      • 'Understanding Learning Difficulties .... a practical guide.'
      • 3 Nov 14
      • In this practical full-day workshop the recently released DSF Learning Difficulties Guide will be reviewed and effective ways to make use of it explored. Successful strategies for assisting students with developmental learning disorders, such as dyslexia, will be identified.

        The Guide includes a wealth of valuable information and a comprehensive overview of evidence-based remediation and accommodation strategies. In addition it details: the visible signs of learning disorders; effective teaching and accommodation strategies; diagnostic criteria; and, issues such as self-esteem and dyslexia-friendly schools.

      • Explicit Direct Instruction in Literacy
      • 5 Nov 14
      • Explicit instruction is systematic, direct, engaging and success-oriented and is essential in teaching content that students could not otherwise discover (Archer, 2011). This half day workshop will cover the features of explicit instruction based on the delivery strategies that support the lesson design. Participants will explore the basic tenets of explicit instruction and the benefits for all students including those with learning difficulties. It is suitable for teachers and education assistants in a primary school setting, although secondary teachers are welcome.

        Presenter: Margie Backhouse [BA(Ed) GradCert(LrngDiff) MEd(LrngDiff)] is a Senior Administrator at DSF, an experienced primary school teacher, and a specialist in learning difficulties. In recent years she has lectured at Edith Cowan University in the primary teaching program and prior to that was the Centre for Inclusive Schooling’s Learning Difficulties Team Leader at the Western Australian Department of Education.

      • Improving Reading Comprehension
      • 17 Mar 15
      • Improving Reading Comprehension:

        The effective teaching of grammar and text comprehension strategies.
        A workshop for teachers, school psychologists and speech pathologists.

        Presented by internationally renowned literacy expert and author Dr. Louisa Moats

        In this full-day interactive workshop Louisa will take the participants through a range of evidence-based strategies and successful teaching approaches that have been found to significantly improve reading comprehension outcomes. In particular, she will focus on:

        Grammar for Reading and Writing

        • comprehension begins with sentences
        • teaching sentence sense with an emphasis on functional aspects of grammar and syntax
        • types of phrases and sentences
        • using sentence builders, sentence elaboration, sentence combining, anagrams
        • spoken to written language

        Teaching Successful Comprehension Strategies

        • what does comprehension require, and what distinguishes good from poor comprehenders?
        • Identifying aspects of academic language that are difficult for students to process
        • surface comprehension, the text base, and construction of the mental model
        • using the Comprehension Planning Guide to formulate before, during, and after reading instructional plans for a given text
        • the art of querying; helping students read like detectives

        Presenter: Dr. Louisa Moats has been a teacher, psychologist, researcher, graduate school faculty member, and author of many influential scientific journal articles, books, and policy papers on the topics of reading, spelling, language, and teacher preparation. After a first job as a neuropsychology technician, she became a teacher of students with learning and reading difficulties, earning her Master’s degree at Peabody College of Vanderbilt. Later, after realizing how little she understood about teaching, she earned a doctorate in Reading and Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Moats spent the next fifteen years in private practice as a licensed psychologist in Vermont, specializing in evaluation and consultation with individuals of all ages and walks of life who experienced reading, writing, and language difficulties. In addition to the LETRS professional development series, Dr. Moats’ books include Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers (Brookes Publishing); Spelling: Development, Disability, and Instruction (Pro-Ed); Straight Talk About Reading (with Susan Hall, Contemporary Books), and Basic Facts about Dyslexia.