Dyslexia lectures available online, featuring scholar and author Nancy Mather

The annual Cathy Sanchez-Cañez Memorial Lecture Series was hosted by Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College throughout October. Three lectures focused on dyslexia, and featured Nancy Mather, Professor Emerita of disability and psychoeducational studies at the University of Arizona. Mather is author or co-author of many books and articles, including “Essentials of Dyslexia Assessment and Intervention” with Barbara Wendling (2011).

Traditionally held in person, the events in the lecture series were held virtually for 2020 for an audience of more than 450 unique visitors. MLFTC is making recordings of the sessions available online.

  • Dyslexia 101 — Fundamental knowledge of dyslexia and how it impacts both academic and emotional development; includes definitions of dyslexia, its history and major characteristics, and a brief update on dyslexia laws.
  • Assessment and Dyslexia — The central components of a dyslexia evaluation, including the importance of assessing cognitive and linguistic processes such as phonological awareness, orthographic coding and rapid automatized naming, as well as primary reading and writing challenges.
  • Interventions and Dyslexia — Understanding reading and spelling development, and how instructional methods should be aligned with a student’s specific developmental level.

This memorial lecture series is named for Cathy Sanchez-Cañez, who graduated from ASU in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education. A native of Globe, Arizona, she became a special education teacher and spent more than half of her life teaching in the rural areas around her hometown.

Sanchez-Cañez was known throughout the communities she served as a tireless proponent of students with educational challenges. Beyond her teaching duties, she purchased school supplies for students who could not afford them, and during the holidays, she and her family would provide meals and gifts to brighten the home of an “adopted” student’s family. She also worked extended hours on most school days as a class sponsor, helping to build class floats, chaperoning dances and working in the concession stand at athletic events.

Sanchez-Cañez was killed in 2019 by a flash flood, and her death was felt throughout the community. Her family sponsors the Cathy Sanchez-Cañez Lecture Series as a tribute to Cathy's devotion to students; and to support Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College students, faculty, and alumni in Arizona school districts.