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raising dyslexia awareness & empowering families

Decoding Dyslexia
Utah is ...

a grassroots movement driven by Utah families concerned with the limited access to educational interventions for dyslexia in our public schools. We aim to raise dyslexia awareness, empower families to support their children and inform policy-makers on best practices to identify, remediate and support students with dyslexia in Utah public schools. Decoding Dyslexia Utah is a 501.3.c non-profit.

What Do We Do?

Advocate for Students

We advocate for all students with the Utah State School Board and Utah Legislature by sharing our stories and working for better reading outcomes. We also advocate for students with dyslexia at local school districts and schools and help Utah Families advocate for their children to receive help in learning to read.

Scholarships

We provide scholarships to students with dyslexia who cannot afford an Orton-Gillingham trained tutor for reading intervention. We also offer scholarships to Utah educators for Orton-Gillingham training at a reduced cost. In return, they tutor students in need with interventions for dyslexia.

Wasatch Reading Summit

We host the annual Wasatch Reading Summit Spring Seminar and Fall Conference to provide educators and parents access to national leaders in the science of reading and dyslexia.

Empowering Student Advocates

DDUT Youth Advocates share their stories and experiences calling for better policy around dyslexia and mentor other students with dyslexia in advocating for themselves.

Practical Workshops

We hold informational and practical workshops for families and educators.

What Do We Want?

Dyslexia Definition

Universal definition and understanding of “Dyslexia” in the state education code

Screening

Early screening assessments for dyslexia

Technology Access

Access to appropriate assistive technologies in the public-school setting for students with dyslexia

Pre Service Instruction

Pre-service instruction in the science of reading and dyslexia for all future educators attending Utah’s institutes of higher learning

Reading Intervention

Reading interventions that are evidenced based for students with dyslexia, anchored in the science of reading, and available to both general and special education populations

"You are your child’s best advocate, if not you, then who? Become an informed, educated parent."

~ Marianne Russo, The Coffee Klatch

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Got Questions? We're Here To Help.

Contact us: If you have questions or would like more information, please fill out the form below.

A member of the Decoding Dyslexia Utah Board or representative will respond in a timely manner.

Meet our dedicated board members.

Genevieve Brown

Board Member
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Jessica Peck

Secretary
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Jenny Snedaker

Community Outreach Chair
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Phoebe Beacham

President/Co-Founder

I co-founded Decoding Dyslexia Utah in 2013 and it is my heart and soul! I love the dyslexic community, especially Utah’s! My work experience centers on advocacy in the disability community. I support parents and students with learning disabilities. I advocate for awareness and change at the local, state, and national level. I educate teachers and administrators on best practices for struggling readers. My leadership experience includes non-profit development, entrepreneurship, healthcare management, adjunct faculty at SLCC and volunteer work. I graduated from Utah State with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Midway University with a Masters in Business Administration and an emphasis in Healthcare Administration. I have three children, two boys with dyslexia. While I am an advocate first and foremost, I also tutor students in the science of reading. I love connecting, please feel free to reach out!

Amy Sandgren

DDUT Advisory Committee

Amy Sandgren, M.Ed. As an educator, Amy wondered why some of her students struggled with reading and saw the same struggle with her own son. She began studying the science of reading and is passionate about teaching all students to read. Amy has taught upper and lower grades in elementary schools and is currently working as an instructional coach at Midvale Elementary. She is a board member for Decoding Dyslexia Utah and is on the Advisory Committee Equity of Educational Services for Students (ACEESS). Amy is also on the English Language Art (ELA) Committee tasked with revising the Utah State ELA standards.

Christy Austin

Pre-Service Educator

Christy is passionate about preparing preservice teachers to deliver effective, research-based reading instruction. Her research interests focus on: (a) intensive intervention for students with significant reading difficulties and disabilities, (b) theoretically informed intervention integrating word reading and word meaning instruction, and (c) policy and legislation related to identification and instruction provided to students with dyslexia.

Michele Chisholm

Wasatch Reading Summit Chair / Education Professional Development Committee Member / Social Media

I graduated from BYU with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. I am currently the owner of Beautiful Mind Tutoring. My passion for helping students with dyslexia began when my own child struggled to learn to read. I am also on the education committee for DDUT and currently serving as committee chair for Wasatch Reading Summit. When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my three children or hiking in the beautiful mountains of Utah!

Maja Wells

Advocacy Chair

Dyslexia has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was young my mother knew my brother had a reading disability. In the 1970s she had heard the word dyslexia and wondered if he was dyslexic. She even tried to get help for him but was unsuccessful. Fast forward to the first grade year of my oldest child. His teacher said he was too smart not to be able to read. This sent me on a quest to learn about reading disabilities. In reading I decided that he had dyslexia which sent me on a quest to help him learn to read. It turns out that we had to turn to tutoring outside of the school system. Thankfully, when my other children needed tutoring I knew where to turn. Through the tutor I became involved in dyslexia and have been a member of Decoding Dyslexia Utah since the beginning. It is the second board related to dyslexia that I have served on.