Walsh University Launches New Master of Dyslexia Therapy

Walsh University’s Division of Education is excited to be the first in Ohio to launch a new Master of Dyslexia Therapy (MDT) degree.  The new program is designed to directly address recent state legislation requiring all Ohio school districts to provide screening and services for children with dyslexia or other reading challenges beginning this year. Walsh is now enrolling students for the summer term.

When children are identified with dyslexia, public schools often lack staff with the appropriate training to help. On January 9, 2021, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 436, Ohio’s Dyslexia Law. The legislation requires public P-12 districts to begin dyslexia screenings in 2022-23 and provide remedy for students diagnosed with dyslexia.
Walsh University has been on the forefront of this movement since 2019 when it restructured its existing reading curricula to expand reading science for education students and faculty to meet the needs of P-12 students and prepare our pre-service and in-service teachers for the changing educational environment. 

“As a Science of Reading Institution, our graduate reading program now has the most current research-based structure in place to support reading acquisition skills by most children,” said Professor and Director of Graduate Education Studies Gary Jacobs, Ph.D. “The Master of Dyslexia Therapy program at Walsh University ensures our Division of Education Graduate Program will take the lead among Ohio educators by offering remediation for students with the dyslexia learning profile.”

National research has revealed that many learners, including a high percentage of those incarcerated, experience dyslexia. According to the International Dyslexia Association, between 15 to 20 percent of the population may have symptoms of dyslexia.

The purpose of Walsh’s MDT program is to train candidates in the research-based Orton-Gillingham methodology to deliver comprehensive dyslexia therapy to students with dyslexia and related disorders. Walsh will work with Neuhaus Education Center, a national reading and literacy non-profit organization with a fully accredited dyslexia specialist program. Neuhaus and Walsh will collaboratively provide the content, instructors, and design that can be integrated seamlessly into Walsh’s graduate framework.

“Early identification and intervention are key to treating dyslexia. Our goal is to fill a critical void that exists in schools across the country,” said Neuhaus Vice President of Literacy Initiatives Rebecca Tolson, Ph.D. “Children with dyslexia struggle to understand how sounds and letters correspond.  To learn to read, they need to be explicitly taught using a structured literacy approach.”

Upon completion of the 36-hour program, MDT candidates will have met the requirements for attaining Ohio credentials as a dyslexia therapy specialist. Candidates who successfully complete the program will also be eligible to sit for the ALTA Competency Exam for Multisensory Structured Language Education (MSLE) for the opportunity to gain national certification as a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT). The Walsh University Master of Dyslexia Therapy degree is accredited through the International Multisensory Structured Language Association Council (IMSLEC) and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). The program is designed to comply with the 2021 Ohio Dyslexia Law (HB 436, 2021).

For more information, including registration, visit Walsh University’s Division of Education website at


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