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September 14 @ 9:00 am - 3:30 pm

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Nanci Shepardson Bio
Session Description
Follow Up Session


Join us for a comprehensive exploration into the world of assistive technology (AT) and its profound impact on student success. This in person event encompasses two engaging sessions focused on leveraging technology to enhance reading, writing, and executive function skills, particularly for students with dyslexia and those struggling with comprehension.

In the morning session, “Technology for Accelerating Growth in Reading and Writing for Students,” we delve into the research-proven methodologies of utilizing AT to enable students to access grade-level content with ease. Participants will discover a range of tools, from Text to Speech to Word Prediction, aimed at empowering students to demonstrate their knowledge without being hindered by learning challenges.

Following a break, the afternoon session, “The Intersection of Executive Functions and Reading Comprehension: Technology to Support this Merger,” explores the critical role of executive functions in academic progress, especially in reading comprehension. Through hands-on exploration, attendees will learn how technological tools can scaffold and bolster both reading comprehension and executive function skills. Websites offering scaffolds for comprehension processes will be examined, providing attendees with practical resources to support student learning immediately.

This event is tailored for teachers, tutors, parents, and students across middle school, high school, and college levels. Whether you’re seeking strategies to support students with dyslexia or aiming to enhance comprehension and executive function skills, this event offers valuable insights and actionable tools.

Additionally, a virtual follow-up session will be held on October 2, 2024, allowing participants to further engage with the content and address any lingering questions. Attendees are encouraged to upload their queries regarding the technology shared to the Padlet before September 23, 2024.

Earn 2.5 ACT 48, CERI, ALTA, Wilson, IMSLEC contact hours per session, totaling 5 contact hours for both sessions. Don’t miss this opportunity to revolutionize your approach to student success through the power of assistive technology.

Register Now!

Nanci Shepardson is a Reading and Educational Specialist. She graduated from Simmons University with an M.S.Ed. in Language and Literacy and an Ed.S. in Assistive Technology.

She is a seasoned teacher, a credentialed K-12 Reading Specialist, and an International Dyslexia Association and Wilson Reading System Dyslexia Practitioner (WRS Level 1 Certified). Nanci has taught preschool, kindergarten, second grade, and fourth grade, was a Reading and Educational Specialist for grades 7 through postgraduate, and has tutored all ages. She consults for the International Dyslexia Association, she is a published author, an advocate for students with disabilities and their families, and is also a professional speaker on dyslexia, language-based disabilities, executive functioning, and assistive technology throughout the country.

As the Director of Accessibility and Assistive Technology Solutions at Wilson Language Training, she works in the Program Development Department. She stays abreast of the current accessibility policies and technological trends and serves as a resource for parents, teachers, and schools on Assistive Technology. Equity and access for all, especially regarding access to research-based reading instruction and assistive technology services, are at the forefront of the work she does. Nanci is also a parent of a grown child with Dyslexia.


Session Descriptions

AM Session – 9:00-11:30 Technology for Accelerating Growth in Reading and Writing for Students

Accessing grade level content in reading and writing is essential for all students, especially those that have dyslexia.  Leveraging Assistive Technology (AT) is a research proven process that allows all students to show what they know without being compromised by a learning challenge. Past and current research is presented along with relevant tools that can be leveraged and accessed right away to facilitate positive student outcomes. Participants will explore Text to Speech, Speech to Text, and Word Prediction and leave with a specific list of tools to implement with all their students but especially those students with dyslexia.

Bring your device(s) to test technology tools in real-time. Nanci will work to help participants navigate the use of the various applications and answer questions that arise while trying their various features. 

This session is geared towards teachers, tutors, parents, and students in middle school, high school, and college. 

2.5 ACT 48, CERI, ALTA, Wilson, IMSLEC contact hours available per session  (5 Total for both sessions)


PM Session – 1:00-3:30 The Intersection of Executive Functions and Reading Comprehension: Technology to Support this Merger

The research is clear that Executive Functions (EF) impacts academic progress.  Without these intact skills, students struggle on many levels, but especially on those skills requiring multiple academic proficiencies. Reading comprehension Executive Functions play an important role in reading comprehension. How can we support students who are impacted by poor EF skills?   There are multiple technological tools that will scaffold and support reading comprehension and EF skills. The goal of this presentation is to equip participants through hands-on exploration on how technological tools can support and remediate reading comprehension skills that blend with executive function skills.

Participants will examine websites that provide scaffolds for the comprehension process that can be used with students immediately. These include sites that scaffold morphology skills, decoding skills, and vocabulary concepts.  Participants will leave with a hyperlinked document, a Padlet that will provide live links to the tools shared during the presentation.

This session is geared towards teachers, tutors, parents, and middle and high school, and college students. A virtual follow-up session will be held on October 2, 2024. Participants should upload any questions regarding the technology shared to the Padlet before September 23, 2024.

Follow Up Session:

You spent the day together on September 14th. Now, it’s time for you to go out and try the new tools you explored. Keep track of what works and what poses challenges. You’ll then come together virtually for an hour on October 2nd to share success stories and address roadblocks. Using the interactive posting tool from September 14th, Nanci will gather your questions and comments, focusing on the most popular inquiries during this follow-up session.
The Zoom link for this session will be sent to your registration email address on September 30th.

Register Now!


Ticket Type Whole Day Price Per Session Price  Member Discount (20% off)
Use Promo Code IDAMember424 at checkout
Professional (CEUs) $95 $60 Yes
Parent (No CEUs) $60 $35 Yes
College Student $25 N/A N/A
High School Student $15 N/A N/A

Register Now!

Registration Terms:
Registrations cannot be transferred.
Cancellations prior to September 1st will result in a $15 processing fee.
Cancellations after September 1st will result in a $15 or 50% processing fee, whichever is greater.

Doors will open for sign in at 8:15am
Lunch will not be provided.


September 14
9:00 am - 3:30 pm


Allegheny Intermediate Unit
475 East Waterfront Drive
Homestead, PA 15120 United States
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