Rocky Mountain Chapter

In service to our communities in Colorado, Utah, and Idaho, we build awareness in the field of dyslexia by providing professional development and community outreach through our expertise and leadership.

ALTA Calendar

Chapter Events

We are dedicated to providing continuing education opportunities that promote the professional growth of our members. Events are worth continuing education hours (CE) to use towards ALTA membership requirements. 

ALTA Directory

 

Find a Rocky Mountain Professional

Our members are made up of individuals with the CALP, CALT, ICALP, or CALT-QI distinction. Find an ALTA-certified professional in Colorado, Utah, and Idaho that represents the highest quality services to those individuals with dyslexia. 

Chapter Resources

COLORADO 

Colorado Dyslexia Handbook 

Colorado Dyslexia legislation

Colorado passed House Bill 19-1134 (PDF), Identification And Interventions For Students With Dyslexia, was signed into law May 31, 2019 by Governor Jared Polis. 

Colorado passed House Bill 08-1223 (PDF) (C.R.S.22-2-133) Concerning the Provision of Technical Assistance Pertaining to Colorado Public School Students with Literacy Challenges that Include Dyslexia, which encourages the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to provide support and training to educators in literacy. Specifically, the statute promotes technical assistance and training in the assessment and scientifically based interventions for students with literacy challenges, including dyslexia. 

The Department of Education provides an annual report to the education committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Colorado passed House Bill 12-1238, The READ Act. The Colorado Reading To Ensure Academic Development Act (Colorado READ Act) was passed by the Colorado Legislature during the 2012 legislative session. The READ Act repeals the Colorado Basic Literacy Act (CBLA) as of July 1, 2013, keeping many of the elements of CBLA such as a focus on K-3 literacy, assessment and individual plans for students reading below grade level. The READ Act differs from CBLA by focusing on students identified as having a significant reading deficiency, delineating requirements for parent communication and providing funding to support intervention. Other components of the Colorado READ Act include a competitive Early Literacy Grant and a resource bank of assessments, instructional programming, and professional development.

 

IDAHO

Dyslexia Information / Literacy Resource Center / English Language Arts/Literacy / Content and Curriculum (idaho.gov)

Idaho Dyslexia Handbook

Idaho Dyslexia Handbook

Idaho Dyslexia Legislation

PDFs: (idaho.gov)

Idaho Dyslexia Update

 

UTAH

Utah Dyslexia Handbook

 

Utah Dyslexia Legislation 

SB0117 creates a dyslexia pilot program in a multi-tiered intervention structure. SB0117 (utah.gov) 

 

 

FEDERAL DYSLEXIA LEGISLATION

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees all children with identified educational disabilities access to a free and appropriate public education.

The Exceptional Children’s Educational Act (ECEA) (PDF) provides Colorado more detail and added rights and protections to IDEA.

Leadership

ALTA-RMC is made up of therapists and practitioners dedicated to providing rigorous evidence-based multisensory structured language education (MSLE) therapy to individuals with dyslexia. Meet the leadership team. 

Lisa Crellin, M.A.T., CALT

Lisa Crellin, M.A.T., CALT

President

Lisa Crellin is a Certified Academic Language Therapist and Qualified Instructor who lives in Midway, Utah. Lisa’s interest in the field of literacy began as she sought to understand why reading was so difficult for some children, including her son and two siblings, and not for others. The answers she sought from experienced educators provided few answers, so she turned to literature on the topic, and tried to incorporate her learning into preparing her own children to read. With the goal of helping other parents, Lisa enrolled in the Master’s of Teaching and Literacy Intervention Specialist Certification Program (LISCP) through Colorado College, as she worked in private practice with dyslexic children. She then worked as a Reading Interventionist for Ben Franklin Academy and later as a Learning Specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Lisa moved to Utah in 2018 where she continued her private practice through the LIT Lab (Literacy Intervention Therapy). With the goal of training other adults in the science of reading, Lisa pursued a 2-year Qualified Instructor certification. Lisa now works privately with students, conducts literacy evaluations, and trains adults on their journeys toward becoming CALTs. Lisa has been a guest speaker at the University of Utah, for the Wasatch Reading Summit, and at a variety of community outreach events. She has served on the ALTA Rocky Mountain Chapter board as secretary, president elect, and now as president. Her greatest reward is seeing her children instill the love of reading in their children, while helping other children and parents do the same. Lisa also enjoys interior design, cooking for family and friends, walking, and reading.

Angela Williams, MAT, CALP

Angela Williams, MAT, CALP

President-Elect

Angela Williams, MAT, CALT has been a member of ALTA since 2017 as a Certified Academic Language Therapist. She received her MAT in Literacy Intervention at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Angela is originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada where she taught elementary grade levels for over ten years. Since moving to Colorado in 2009, she has taught for five years with a focus on Literacy Intervention. Angela holds a teaching license in Elementary Education and has obtained a Reading Specialist endorsement from the Colorado Department of Education. Presently, Angela has opened her own dyslexia and learning center, Away with Words. She is passionate about helping dyslexic students succeed through small group intervention, and online. In her free time, Angela loves spending time with her husband, Jason, and her three wonderful children: Abigail, Dean, and Blake.

Kathy Tenney, MS, CALT-QI

Kathy Tenney, MS, CALT-QI

Secretary

Kathy Tenney, MS, CALT-QI has been a member of ALTA since 1998. She received her CALT training from Southern Methodist University. She received her MS from the University of Utah. She has been in private practice since 1998. She founded Dyslexia Therapy Utah in 2021. She trains future CALTs for the Shelton School’s Utah Outreach program. She is a member of the Utah Literacy Coalition and presents at state reading conferences. She loves hiking, traveling, entertaining, and spending time with her husband, 5 children, their spouses, and 4 adorable grandchildren..

Cara Avallone, MAT, CALT

Cara Avallone, MAT, CALT

Treasurer

Cara Avallone, M.A.T., CALT, began her journey in the field of dyslexia intervention after a series of events led her to join a cohort of educators for the 2009 Dyslexia Specialist Program at Penrose-St. Francis Hospital (now the Literacy Intervention Specialist Certification Program (LISCP) at Colorado College). She achieved membership in ALTA  at the Practitioner level in 2010, and the Therapist level in 2011. Cara has applied her learning in private practice (2009-2013), in the public school system as a literacy intervention specialist and literacy coach (2013-2016), and as a learning specialist at the Children’s Hospital Colorado (2016 to present). She has also been privileged to serve as a co-instructor for a number of LISCP cohorts. Cara has previously served on the ALTA-RMC Board in the positions of Secretary, Vice-President, and President. Cara is thankful to have found such a worthy purpose in life. What joy there is in working alongside children and witnessing their first experiences of success in reading!

Cara and her husband live in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. They have three grown children, two sons-in-law, and four grand-dogs. She enjoys hosting family get-togethers, going on road trips, and time spent in the mountains with her husband and their dog, Millie. 

Sidney Maggiora, MAT, CALT, QIT

Sidney Maggiora, MAT, CALT, QIT

VP Marketing

Sidney R. Maggiora, is a Certified Academic Language Therapist, CALT, and a Qualified Instructor in Training. She has worked in public schools in Texas for five years and is a mother of three dyslexic children. Having seen firsthand the impact that dyslexia has had on her own children, she became passionate about pursuing a degree to help other children and families with the same struggles. Sidney has had much dyslexia training from The Shelton School in the Take Flight Teaching and Therapy levels, and MTA (Multisensory Teaching Approach). Both pieces of training took two years each. She took the CALT exam through ALTA and has a Master’s degree in Multisensory Teaching through Dallas Baptist University. Sidney also took the Diagnosing Learning Differences through the Shelton School and was trained in the tests to diagnose dyslexics. As a QI in training, she is currently retaking both Teaching and Therapy levels in Take Flight and Diagnosing Learning Differences; as well as teaching parts of these programs to trainees and evaluating trainee video demonstrations. Sidney is a member of and sits on the boards of Rocky Mountain ALTA and Decoding Dyslexia Idaho. She is also a member of ALTA, IDA, Decoding Dyslexia, and The Reading League of Idaho. Sidney is passionate about educating her community and teachers about dyslexia and provides dyslexia simulations for the community and professionally for local school districts and universities. She also consults with school districts and advocates for dyslexic children.

Dyann Powell, MA:Dyslexia Specialist, CALT-QI, C-SLDS

Dyann Powell, MA:Dyslexia Specialist, CALT-QI, C-SLDS

VP Membership

Dyann homeschooled 3 girls for 7 years, two of them with ADHD and one with dyslexia. Prior to that, she worked in schools for several years in various roles. She began a BA in education in OK, but it did not transfer to CO. So, she wrote her own individualized degree which incorporated education, special education, and psychology. She has a BA: Educational Studies for Young Diverse Learners. After that, she knew she wanted a master’s degree that had Dyslexia in the title. So, she found the Dyslexia Specialist program at Colorado College and earned her CALT at the same time. She has expertise in Executive Function and designed my master’s project around how EF affects reading. She is currently training to be a QI and, this year, will serve on the ALTA publication committee for the JALT. She is working part-time as a district dyslexia specialist for Douglas County School District, and serves on the Colorado Department of Education’s Dyslexia Working Group as the dyslexia specialist. She has a passion for helping students with dyslexia as well as educating teachers and advocating for it. She also loves learning and someday hope to pursue a Ph.D. She is thrilled to serve on the Rocky Mountain Chapter of ALTA because she loves building connections and would love to see the association expand in Colorado.

Monica Peeler, MA, MAT, CALP

Monica Peeler, MA, MAT, CALP

VP Community Outreach

Monica Peeler, MA, MAT, CALP has been a member of ALTA since 2018. She earned her Master of Arts in Literacy Intervention in 2020 from Colorado College. Monica also earned a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Instructional Technology from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs in 2018. She began serving on the ALTA-RMC board as secretary in 2021. Monica currently works in public education as a reading interventionist at the elementary level. Prior to becoming a reading interventionist, she taught many grade levels in public education for 14 years. In addition to working in public education, Monica also works with students in private practice, where she provides one-on-one therapy for children and adolescents. Monica has also obtained a Reading Specialist endorsement from the Colorado Department of Education. When she has downtime, she enjoys spending time with her son, Quentin, and almost any type of physical fitness activity.

Martha Stender, MA, MAT, CALT

Martha Stender, MA, MAT, CALT

VP Social Media and Website

Martha has been a resident of Black Forest, CO, for 30 years. She received a BS in Rehabilitation Services and an MA in special education from the University of Connecticut, and an MAT in literacy from Colorado College. Martha has been a special education teacher and literacy specialist in the Colorado Springs area school districts. She currently is a Learning Specialist II with Children’s Hospital Colorado, primarily doing dyslexia therapy remotely with children at various locations around and outside of the state of Colorado. Martha is currently co-chair of the Diversity Health Equity and Inclusion Committee for Therapies at Children’s Hospital. Martha is passionate about encouraging early literacy skills and sharing information on literacy and dyslexia with the public and area organizations, including Pikes Peak Library District and school districts.

Martha decided to pursue a MAT and certification as a CALT because she firmly believes that improved, research-based reading instruction is the future of education and the only way to appropriately serve our folks with reading difficulties who are receiving special education services as well as those who are not.

Martha enjoys hiking, horseback riding, and spending time with her three (adult/nearly adult) children, whom she homeschooled, and her dogs and horses.

Cindy Kanuch

Cindy Kanuch

VP Professional Development

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