The individuals who serve on Dyslexia Services Foundation Board of Directors bring to their role a combination of personal and professional knowledge of dyslexia and a profound commitment to the idea that every child should be able to read, write and spell.
William O. Young, MD
President and Board Chair
Dr. William O. Young is a graduate of the University of Virginia and completed medical school, internship and ophthalmology residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston before serving a fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. He has practiced pediatric ophthalmology since 1994, and since 2005 has been selected annually by his peers as one of America’s Best Doctors®. In addition to treating patients in his private practice, he teaches pediatric ophthalmology to medical students and to medical residents in pediatrics and family practice.
Before attending medical school Dr. Young was a teacher, which gave him a first-hand awareness of the high rate of illiteracy among adults, and of the wide-ranging social and economic consequences of adult illiteracy. This spurred him to take Laubach training, which he used to teach illiterate adults to read.
When he became a practicing pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Young was struck by the number of children he saw who were struggling with reading, and by the fact that in too many cases the school system was not offering proper and timely diagnosis or remediation of their reading disorders. He saw the frustration of these children and of their parents, who did not know where to turn for help, and who too often fell prey to expensive and unproven vision therapy programs in a desperate attempt to help their child.
He began to study dyslexia in detail, and became convinced by the growing body of research that dyslexia can be diagnosed at a very early age, that it is a language-processing problem, not a vision problem, and that the solution is multisensory phonics-based instruction and not “vision therapy.” Teaching parents, primary care physicians and school nurses about dyslexia is one of the most important parts of his practice.
Sandie Barrie Blackley, MA/CCC
Sandie Barrie Blackley is the co-founder and Chief Knowledge Officer of Mind InFormation LLC. Her inspiration for helping struggling readers started at home: “I realized that my very bright son, a third-grader at the time, was having difficulty learning to read. I had been trained in the Orton-Gillingham Approach in graduate school but hadn’t had much occasion to use it, so I dusted it off and used it with my son. After the first few lessons he asked me why no one had ever told him this was the way sounds and letters worked. It was a startling question and one I have been trying to answer ever since.”
Sandie is a speech-language pathologist with more than 30 years of experience in private practice. She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at University of North Carolina Greensboro, and founder/owner of the Language & Learning Clinic, PLLC, a private practice in Elkin and Greensboro, North Carolina, specializing in communication disorders, including disorders of reading and written language.
In 1998 Sandie was honored with the Clinical Services Award by the North Carolina Speech, Hearing & Language Association (NCSHLA), the award for the state’s most outstanding clinician, and recently was elected a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award.
Chad Myers, MBA
Chad Myers is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mind InFormation, LLC. Like Sandie Barrie Blackley, Chad was inspired by personal experience: “I am the oldest of three kids. In elementary school my brother and I were in the gifted classes. Our younger sister, who is every bit as smart, or smarter, was held back in second grade due to a reading disability. I got to see the detrimental effect on her confidence and academic progress. Happily, with years of hard work, my sister was able to read at grade level, graduated with a masters degree in special education, and is now the best writer in our family!”
A skilled entrepreneur with experience in designing and building online platforms around Web 2.0 principles, Chad was CFO of www.mokool.com, a Singapore startup in the online distribution of user-generated mobile content, and was Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and the Executive Director of the Rudolf and Valeria Maag International Centre for Entrepreneurship at the business school, INSEAD in France and Singapore, where he also got his MBA.
C. Patrick Crosby, Jr. is a Partner in Crown Companies, LLC. He serves as in-house counsel and is also involved with all aspects of the company’s acquisition, leasing, development and property management. Prior to joining The Crown Companies, Mr. Crosby was a partner with the law firm of Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP. Mr. Crosby received his B.S. in Business Administration in 1990 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and his J.D., cum laude, from Wake Forest University. He and his wife, Tina, a special education teacher, have two children, one of whom is dyslexic.
Mike Fenley, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is Field Representative for U.S. Senator Richard Burr 16 northwest North Carolina counties, including Ashe, Alleghany, Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Davie, Forsyth, Iredell, Lincoln, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yadkin. Mr. Fenley is passionate about literacy and helping children who don’t have the means to overcome their reading, writing and spelling problems.