top of page

NEW APPROACHES TO
NEURODIVERSITY & DYSLEXIA EDUCATION

LERNER HALL, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

2920 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, NY 10027
DECEMBER 20, 2022 10:30AM-2:00PM
 

EVENT
EVENT
ericadams.jpg
New York Mayor
Eric Adams
billcassidy.jpg
Senator
Bill Cassidy
New Approaches to Neurodiversity and Dyslexia Education brings together leading politicians, neuroscientists, educators, artists, and advocates, with the latest research, to find solutions for the crisis of reading disability across the US and the world. 
Honoring leaders in dyslexia education. Following
Senator Bill Cassidy's introduction of the 21st Century Dyslexia Act, and Mayor Adams' announcement of the largest, most comprehensive approach to supporting students with dyslexia in the United States, for the first time, all New York City students will be assessed and receive specialized instruction through programs and academies.
Such interventions are critical, as studies show that dyslexia affects 20% of students, 70% of juvenile delinquents are dyslexic, and 80% of adults in the prison system are functionally illiterate. Those who are diagnosed currently often receive antiquated treatments that take years and up to hundreds of thousands in costs, deepening the socio-economic literacy divide.

Our objective is to discuss the challenges, and review new approaches, research, and potential solutions.

Please RSVP above (required).



LIVESTREAM link
https://zoom.us/j/93011032940?pwd=WjlkOUtGTmNuT2J4TU5OeEhyVnVnZz09
 
AGENDA

After introductory remarks by the moderator, each speaker will share their journey / research, in a conversational format, in approximately this order:

Opening Remarks

Mayor Eric Adams
Mayor of New York City

Senator Bill Cassidy
United States Senator of Louisiana
 
Dr. Laura Cassidy
Co-founder Louisiana Key Academy & Dyslexia Resource Center

Robert Carroll
Assemblymember of New York State Assembly

Yoel Greenfeld
Founder of CanAdvance, school principal, neurodiversity specialist

Ingrid Poupart
Founder of Neuralign nonprofit and creator of Neuralign program

Jumaane Williams
Public Advocate of New York City

Chris Etienne
STEM Program Coordinator, Prison Teachings Initiatives
Princeton University
 
Nancy Conrad  
Educator, Founder of the Conrad Foundation
Honoring dyslexic astronaut Pete Conrad 

Dean Bragonier  
Founder of NoticeAbility nonprofit & TED Speaker

Dr. Newton Howard  
Oxford University professor and Founder of the
Howard Brain Center, Georgetown University

Eli Weisman 
Emmy-award winning technologist at Contextual

Kate Griggs  
Founder of Made by Dyslexia, TED speaker

Dr. Moran Cerf
Northwestern University Neuroscientist, TED & Templeton Foundation “Extraordinary Mind”

Barbara Bullard
President of the Shirley Chisholm Cultural Institute
 
Lori Bajorek
President of National Esports Association

Moderator: Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri
Neurodiversity & regeneration advocate, anthropologist,
& artist, Princeton University, CEO SRI
1.jpg
Eric Adams

Mayor of New York City

Mayor Adams is making dyslexia screenings a central policy issue.

 

Mr. Adams served the people of New York City as an NYPD officer, State Senator, Brooklyn Borough President, and now as the 110th Mayor of the City of New York. He gave voice to a diverse coalition of working families in all five boroughs and is leading the fight to bring back New York City’s economy, reduce inequality, improve public safety, and build a stronger, healthier city that delivers for all New Yorkers. 

 

Bill Cassidy

United States Senator of Louisiana

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), is a physician and father of a dyslexic daughter. He is the sponsor of the 21st Century Dyslexia Act. In 2022 the Louisiana legislature passed a law that will require all of departments of education to have at least 3 hours in their curriculum for those who wish to be teachers, including a discussion of dyslexia. He supported legislation to establish a center to disseminate cutting-edge knowledge of 21st century scientifically-supported approaches to educational processes, to both improve federal dyslexia policy and to increase public understanding and access to these evidence-based approaches. Dyslexia advocates are extremely grateful for Senator Cassidy’s continued work on behalf of thoughtful, scientifically sound dyslexia policy. 

jumaane williams (1).jpg
Jumaane Williams

Public Advocate of New York City

In 2021, Jumaane introduced legislation to require mandatory dyslexia screenings for all detainees at Rikers Island, requiring require the Department of Correction to screen all persons who do not have a high school diploma for dyslexia within 72 hours of intake into a jail facility.

 

Jumaane is a first-generation Brooklynite of Grenadian heritage who previously served on the New York City Council representing the 45th District. He graduated from the public school system, overcoming the difficulties of Tourette's and ADHD to earn a Master's Degree from Brooklyn College. He began his career as a community organizer at the Greater Flatbush Beacon School and later served as the Executive Director of NYS Tenants & Neighbors. There, he fought for truly affordable, income-targeted housing across New York City and State.

11.jpg
Yoel Greenfeld

Founder of CanAdvance

Yoel Greenfeld is the founder of CanAdvance, one of New York's premiere community education organizations. Since 2017, CanAdvance has served children and adults with difficulties in academics and behavior and has helped hundreds of students achieve lasting success.  Mr. Greenfeld's expertise was formed as a teacher and principal for over twenty years, during which time he encountered far too many children with reading and learning difficulties. Working with hundreds of students and adults, he has gained a first-hand appreciation for the power and impact of neuroplasticity.

After witnessing the life-changing results of the Neuralign program in his clinic,  Mr. Greenfeld made it his mission to make Neuralign accessible throughout the US. Ultimately, CanAdvance became the exclusive distributor for Neuralign in the US.

Ingrid Poupart

CEO of Neuralign nonprofit

By dyslexics for dyslexics, Neuralign helps dyslexic and learning-disabled students achieve success in reading, build confidence, and reduce anxiety. Through years of extensive research and fieldwork, Neuralign has acquired an intimate understanding of how to design and deliver revolutionary brain training techniques. Led by the mother-daughter team of Ingrid and Erika Poupart, in Ontario, Canada as ReadLS, Neuralign is being launched in October 2022 with games that address everything we know about reading. Neuralign’s technology has won multiple awards. Carleton University reports students using Neuralign read an average of 50% more words in 10 weeks.

10.jpg
Dr. Laura Cassidy

Co-founder of Louisiana Key Academy and Dyslexia Resource Center

Dr. Cassidy founded Louisiana Key Academy (LKA) with another mom of a dyslexic child. She started the school out of frustration, disbelief, and a desire to change the options for children. As the parent of a dyslexic child, she saw up close the nightmare dyslexia can be if children don't have trained teachers that understand dyslexia. Dyslexia can destroy a child's self esteem if it goes unrecognized in the language-rich environment of school. LKA is more than a school--it is a community of trained, knowledgeable caring professionals whose mission is to unlock the potential of dyslexic children.

3.jpg
9.jpg
Chris Etienne

STEM Program Coordinator, Prison Teaching Initiatives, Princeton University

Etienne is the STEM program coordinator of the Prison Teaching Initiative at Princeton University. He is also a journalist and an African Studies scholar with a background in creative writing, journalism, and video production. He seeks to use his accolades to spotlight injustice and raise awareness about social issues. He has worked with various organizations such as Rutgers University, SOBA College Recovery, the Renaissance House, and Brooklyn CRAN, where he mentored individuals seeking out postsecondary education, educated at-risk youth, and helped the mentally ill population reacclimate back into society.

Kate Griggs

Founder of Made by Dylsexia

British social entrepreneur, founder and CEO of charity, Made By Dyslexia, Kate Griggs has been shifting the narrative on dyslexia and educating people on its strengths since 2004. Dyslexic herself and having been surrounded by an extraordinary ‘smorgasbord of Dyslexic Thinking’ her whole life, Griggs knows the superpower of dyslexia all too well.

She is a leading voice in global advocacy and is leading the charge to disrupt the world’s thinking around dyslexia, which is vital for the workplace of the future.

katesgriggs.jpg
4.jpg
Dr. Newton Howard

Oxford University professor and founder of Howard Brain Center at Georgetown University

Professor Howard’s passion for science and technology began during childhood. He pursued his interests in his studies and in 2000 while a graduate member of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Oxford, he proposed the Theory of Intention Awareness (IA). In 2002, he received a second doctoral degree in cognitive informatics and mathematics from the prestigious La Sorbonne in France. In 2014 he received his doctorate of philosophy from the University of Oxford for his work on neurodegenerative diseases, specifically his “Brain Code” Theorem.

Nancy Conrad

Founding Chairman of the Conrad Foundation and Educator

A former teacher, Nancy has become a recognized leader in transformative education and named one of the top 100 leaders in STEM education, serving as a featured speaker at national and international conferences. Her presentations include TED,  MIT, and, the Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She also presented at the Global Diversity Leadership Conference at Harvard University and the National Modeling and Simulation Coalition conference in Washington, D.C. Nancy has also testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology detailing how the Conrad Foundation exemplifies the use of partnership to improve STEM education. She is the wife of late astronaut Pete Conrad, who during the Apollo 12 mission became the third man to walk on the Moon, and was dyslexic.

8.jpg
Dean Bragonier

Founder of NoticeAbility nonprofit & TED Speaker

NoticeAbility is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students with dyslexia identify their unique strengths and build self-esteem. They incorporate the neuroscience of dyslexia, the best practices of special education, and the power of EdTech to construct enrichment curricula and teacher training programs for global distribution.

NoticeAbility was founded with the encouragement and mentorship of professors at Harvard University, MIT and Boston University. NoticeAbility’s enrichment curricula provide educators with practical tools to empower their students.

5.jpg
6.jpg
Dr. Moran Cerf

President of the Shirley Chisholm Cultural Institute

Moran Cerf is a neuroscientist and business professor at the Kellogg School of Management and the neuroscience program at Northwestern University. He is also a member of the institute on complex systems (‘NICO’) and the Alfred P. Sloan professor at the American Film Institute (‘AFI’).

His academic research uses methods from neuroscience to understand the underlying mechanisms of our psychology, behavior change, emotion, decision making, and dreams.

barbara-symposium.jpg
Barbara Bullard

President of the Shirley Chisholm Cultural Institute

It is the mission of The Shirley Chisholm Cultural Institute, Inc. (“SCCI”), to provide opportunities and cultural experiences for all ages to utilize economic, educational, health, and recreational resources in our communities. The SCCI Board consists of thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and creatives from an array of fields who understand the relevance of her legacy. SCCI’s goal is to preserve Congresswoman Chisholm’s legacy through the initiatives cultivated in 1977 with 21st-century activism and innovation. As an entrepreneur, producer, and writer, Barbara's commitment to inspire through storytelling manifests through her offerings to solidify the legacies of social changemakers.

Eli Weisman

Emmy-winning technologist at Contextual

An award-winning entertainment and Silicon Beach executive with more than 20 years’ experience driving digital transformation and innovation for entertainment, media, technology, and brand clients. Passionate about helping global brands adopt emerging technology and platforms to engage audiences, accelerate business, and succeed in the metaverse / web3 landscape.

 

He believes in the power of spatial computing (VR, AR, XR) to transform the way we work, play and live. His current focus is helping global enterprises adopt VR to accelerate collaboration, drive productivity, and succeed in the future of work.

7.jpg
speakers' BIOS
symposium 810.jpg
Robert Carroll

Assemblymember of New York State Assembly

Assemblymember Robert Carroll was elected to the Assembly in 2016. He serves on six committees, including the Codes; Corporations, Authorities and Commissions; Environmental Conservation; Election Law; Cities; and Arts, Parks and Tourism Committees. Since being elected to the Assembly, he has introduced over 150 bills, 22 of which have passed both the Assembly and Senate.

Assemblymember Carroll is the leading literacy advocate in the legislature. His Dyslexia Task Force Act, which establishes an expert panel to create standards for universal screening for dyslexia, evidence-based literacy interventions and professional development for teachers, is the first major piece of dyslexia and literacy legislation ever passed by the legislature.

AGENDA
Lori Bajorek

President of National Esports Association

The National Esports Association is the global leader in esports education and engagement. They guide school districts, colleges, and corporations through the learning outcomes and competencies that gaming can provide — including making traditional education more relevant by gamifying classrooms and crafting curriculum and experiential learning for our digitized youth and workforce.
 

At the National Esports Association, they embrace and encourage diversity and are committed to inclusivity among all members of our global community.

lori.jpg
13.jpg
Moderator: Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri

Neurodiversity & Equality Advocate, Neuralign Nonprofit, Visiting Lecturer Princeton University

Recognized by the United Nations as a Women's Entrepreneurship Distinguished Fellow, and by Rotary International as a Global PeaceMaker, Indrani is a Cannes Lions, CNN Expose, and Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Innovation award-winning multimedia artist and anthropologist. She is a keynote speaker, educator, Co-Founder and Executive Director at Shakti Empowerment Education Foundation, and Princeton University Visiting Lecturer. An advocate for neurodiversity, equality, and regeneration, she uses her passion for conceptual thinking and creative problem-solving to scale impactful organizations, content, and social movements.

LOCATION
LOCATION
Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University
2920 Broadway, New York, NY 10027
bottom of page