Transforming Teaching, Transforming Learning, Transforming Lives


Picture a young girl and her desire to read like her siblings. Picture her reaching for books on the shelf, longing to explore new worlds but instead getting lost because of words. Imagine a concerned mother and home school teacher taking her young daughter to a speech language pathologist for evaluation and training. Imagine this mother learning also and collaborating closely on dyslexic-specific learning strategies specially designed for her daughter. Now, picture the daughter as an adult, a university graduate, a Fulbright scholar, an English teaching assistant abroad.


Perhaps it is true when they say dyslexia is a gift, or even a blessing in disguise, because this is indeed the spark that lit a flame. Today this mother and school teacher, Gladys Schaefer, the current President of the Alabama Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, is now leading a new institute in Birmingham named in recognition of the speech language pathologist, Hettie Johnson, who years ago helped transform her daughter’s life and indeed her own.