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British Dyslexia Association International Conference 2021

Keynote Speakers

Professor Daniel Ansari - Western University

Daniel Ansari is a Professor and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning in the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of Education at Western University in Canada, where he heads the Numerical Cognition Laboratory (

Ansari and his team explore the developmental trajectory underlying both the typical and atypical development of numerical and mathematical skills, using both behavioural and neuroimaging methods.

Ansari has a keen interest in connecting the science of learning with education and served as the President of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society (IMBES) from 2014-2016. Ansari has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science as well as the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

Ansari's keynote will look at what we know and don't know about developmental dyscalculia, including:

  • What we have learnt about developmental dyscalculia and its cognitive and neural correlates
  • Issues related to the diagnosis of dyscalculia
  • How developmental dyscalculia is often comorbid with other learning difficulties and why
  • What we know about the overlap between dyslexia and dyscalculia
  • Evidence-based interventions to help students with dyscalculia.

Professor Steve Graham - Arizona State University Teachers College

Steve Graham is the Warner Professor in the Division of Leadership and Innovation in Teachers College.

For more than 40 years he has studied how writing develops, how to teach it effectively, and how writing can be used to support reading and learning. His research involves typically developing writers and students with special needs in both elementary and secondary schools, with much of occurring in classrooms in urban schools.

Graham is the former editor of Exceptional Children, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Journal of Writing Research, Focus on Exceptional Children, and he is the current editor of the Journal of Educational Psychology. He is the co-author of the "Handbook of Writing Research," "Handbook of Learning Disabilities," "APA Handbook of Educational Psychology," "Writing Better," "Powerful Writing Strategies for all Students" and "Making the Writing Process Work." He is also the author of three influential Carnegie Corporation reports: Writing Next , Writing to Read , and Informing Writing.

He is the recipient of the Thorndike Career Award from Division 15 of the American Psychological Association, Sylvia Scribner Award from Division C of the American Educational Research Association, Exemplary Research in Teaching and Teacher Education from Division K of the American Educational Research Award, Career Research Award from the International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award from the Division of Research (CEC), Jeannette Fleischner Career Leadership Award from the Division of Learning Disabilities (CEC), Samual A. Kirk Award from the Division of Learning Disabilities (CEC), Distinguished Researcher Award from the Special Education Special Interest Group of the American Education Research Association, J. Lee Weiderhot Lecture Award from the Council of Learning Disabilities, and the Don Johnston Literacy Lectureship Award for career contributions to literacy. He was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame for 2018.

Graham's keynote will be titled Teaching Writing to Students with Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities and will identify effective practices for teaching writing to students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Drawing on meta-analyses conducted by the presenter and other scholars, the presentation will first examine the writing difficulties experienced by these students. It will then provide recommendations for teaching writing to all children as well specific recommendations for teaching writing to children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. These students deserve and need the best writing instruction possible in their regular classroom settings as well as special education or supplemental instructional setting or conditions.