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We are excited to present a selection of world-renown speakers for the 12th Irlen International Conference. 




  Marcia Reis Guimaraes, MD, PhD, is an ophthalmologist and eye pathologist with an educational background in molecular biology and basic sciences. She is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Embryology and Pathology at the Universidade de Sao Paulo and Universidade Pitagoras and invited professor of several universities throughout Brazil. She is Clinical Director of the Hospital de Olhos de Minas Gerais in Brazil. Dr. Guimaraes is also Director of the Irlen Clinic in Belo Horizonte, which is located in the Hospital de Olhos. She serves as Research Clinical Professor at the Federal University of Mina Gerais-LPAN (Laboratory Advance Research in clinically Applied Neurovisual Sciences).


  Ricardo Guimaraes, MD, PhD, is a board certified ophthalmologist and founder and Director of the Hospital de Olhos in Minas Garais Brazil, the largest individual private eye clinics in Brazil. Dr. Guimaraes is also Assistant Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil) and Director of the International Club of Surgery. He serves as President of the Brazilian Society of Refractive Surgery and maintains professional memberships in the Brazilian Society of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the International Society of Refractive Surgery. He serves on a number of editorial boards, including Highlights of Ophthalmology and Medical Editor for Ocular Surgery News for Latin America, and is currently serving as Honorary Consul of Canada in Minas Gerais, Medical Editor of Ocular Surgery New for Latin America, member of the board of the council of Health School – Universidade Pitagoras, Brazilian Institute of Marketing Economy (IBMEC), and Fundação da Associação Comercial de Minas Gerais and American Chamber of Commerce.


  Jeffrey David Lewine, PhD, is Professor of Translational Neuroscience and Director of Business Development at the Mind Research Network, affiliated with the University of New Mexico. Dr. Lewine’s research uses behavioral and brain imaging methods including magnetoencephalography [MEG], electroencephalography [EEG], magnetic resonance imaging [MRI], and single photon emission computed tomography [SPECT]) to study brain structure and function. He has performed research on a wide range of clinical conditions including autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, dyslexia, epilepsy, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. These investigations have been funded, in part, by Cure Autism Now, Johnson & Johnson, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, McDonnell-Pew Program in Cognitive Neuroscience, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders, Orasi Medical, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Lewine has previously directed functional brain imaging programs in New Mexico, Utah, Kansas and Illinois. He is a member of the College of Scientific Reviewers for the National Institutes of Health and a member of the executive boards for the American Clinical Magnetoencephalography Society and the International Society for the Advancement of Clinical MEG. Dr. Lewine is the co-author of a textbook on functional brain imaging and he has co-authored more than 100 articles and book chapters.


  Helen L. Irlen, MA, BCPC, LMFT, is a pioneer and global leader in the area of visual processing problems and an internationally recognized educator, researcher, and scholar. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Irlen Institute, which has over 138 affiliated Irlen Centers worldwide. Her method for treating visual processing deficits is used in over 45 countries. She is the author of Reading by the Colors and The Irlen Revolution: A Guide to Changing Your Perception and Your Life. Her newest book is Sports Concussions and Getting Back in the Game…of Life.


Marcelo Bernal is a PhD candidate at the Universidad Nacional de Tumbes, Peru.  He has studied at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and at the University of Cuenca where he earned a degree in Educational Psychology and Counseling. He was recognized in the 2005 publication “Who’s Who Among the Universities and Colleges of the United States.” Professor Bernal is currently director of a research project on Irlen Syndrome Prevalence in Cuenca Urban Elementary Schools. His undergraduate thesis research focused on Irlen Method Validation for Children Age 6-8 for the city of Cuenca in Ecuador. His doctoral dissertation investigates Irlen Incidence in Cuenca Urban Schools, a research project sponsored by the Research Office of the University of Cuenca, the School of Psychology, and the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education. He has been an Irlen Screener since 2008.

Shulamit Elad is the Director of Irlen Israel. She has been a certified screener since 1997 and a diagnostician since 2002. Shulamit is the Head of the “Netaim” Department and a Professor at the David Yellin College of Education.  Her expertise is Special Education. Through the years, she has trained screeners and given many lectures about the Irlen method in Israel.

Margaret L. (Marge) Harris, MEd, is a high school math teacher who specializes in working with students who have struggled with math. She has taught for 32 years. She has served for over 11 years as an Irlen Screener, having presented on The Effects of Irlen Syndrome on Math at the Texas Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics as well as at teachers’ conferences in Texas and Wyoming. She has published several articles about Irlen Syndrome and math for educational journals. Marge has just completed her diagnostician training and now provides testing for Irlen Spectral Filters through the Irlen Clinic-Houston.

Joan Hillary, BA, Adv Dip Ed, has a background teaching in Primary schools, then specialising and advising on teaching children who had Special Needs in main stream schooling. She trained as an Irlen Screener around 1986 and became an Irlen Diagnostician in North-West U.K. in 1988. Over the years, she has given talks, run screener training courses and, with Helen’s approval, trained new diagnosticians.

Dr. Jessica Jones, Dr. Sandra Davis and Dr. Alyssa Scott are licensed psychologists practicing at the Jones Center for Children’s Therapy and Assessment in Mansfield, Texas, near Dallas. They specialize primarily in treatment of children and adolescents with a smaller segment geared toward adults. The goal of the Jones Center is to provide diagnostic clarity and to generate appropriate treatment goals and recommendations. Comprehensive assessment includes screening for Irlen Syndrome. The Jones Center has just become an Irlen Diagnostic Center for north Texas, providing screening as well as testing for Irlen Spectral Filters.

Jeri LaVigne, EdD, is a health and educational psychologist in private practice for more than 25 years. Jeri has been associated with the Irlen family for more than 30 years. Her earliest connection was through her mother, Dr. Gwen Moore, one of the earliest Irlen Directors. Jeri became an Irlen Director in 2000 and speaks regularly to parents, organizations, and at conferences. Recently, she has expanded her Irlen client-base to include U.S. veterans and is thrilled to be able to help individuals obtain Irlen Spectral Filters to begin enjoying an improved quality of life.

Masanori Ogata is in a doctoral program in Disability Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan. He has been an English teacher at a special needs school and also at junior and high schools. He has been an Irlen Screener since 2012.

Nadine Jasso Pabst, MEd, is a national leadership consultant and coach. She is the owner of What’sBest4Kids Educational Consulting, LLC. Nadine has over 20 years of educational experience and has delivered professional development on differentiation and vocabulary enhancement. She has published articles on writing for TEPSA.

Dr. Sherry Ponder is Chairperson of the Bay St. Louis/Waveland (Mississippi) School Board and President of the Mississippi Gulf Coast School Board Association. She is a retired educator with both classroom and administrative experience. In addition, Dr. Ponder has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University. Dr. Ponder currently serves as President of the Mississippi Federation of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and co-chairs the Mississippi Autism Advisory Council.  She is a certified Irlen Screener.

Shoshana Shamberg, MS, OTR/L, has over 30 years experience in program management, private practice, and consultation services to educational institutions, business, public, and private agencies. She is founder and President of Abilities OT Services and Seminars, Inc., a consultation firm that specializes in accessibility, health and wellness, pediatric school-based interventions, and professional trainings. She is owner of the Visual Learning Center of Maryland where she provides Brain Gym and Irlen Method services. She has a Master’s degree in special education and assistive technology.

Fritz Steiner is a consultant for visual perception and rehabilitation in Switzerland and was director of a vocational center for the visually impaired. He is in direct contact with low vision clients and instructs low vision trainers in Switzerland, the German speaking part of Italy, and in Germany. As a member of an interdisciplinary team at the University of Modena from 2005-07, he was active in a research project entitled “Malfunctioning Cones and Remedial Tinted Filters.” The Irlen Method has been part of his professional activity since 2000.  Currently, Fritz is a lecturer at the University of Zurich, Department of Special Needs, and at the University of Lausanne, Department of Pedagogy.

Sandra Irlen Tosta, PhD, holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and a PhD in Educational Psychology from UCLA. She has expertise in research in both corporate and academic settings. For nearly a decade, she was senior researcher at the Hypothesis Group where she focused on research related to children and education. She has authored a variety of papers on Irlen Syndrome and related topics and contributed a chapter on parenting for Marc Bornstein’s Handbook of Parenting, Volume 5. She currently serves as head of research for the Perceptual Development Corporation at the Irlen Institute International Headquarters. She is president of the Irlen Syndrome Foundation.

Julie Yaxley, BSc, MA, was born in London, England. She obtained a physics degree from the University of Warwick and gained teaching qualifications for all sectors. Currently, she works at the Krist Samaritan Center in Houston. She is a teacher, speaker, and Certified Senior Irlen Screener with a Master of Arts in specific learning disabilities and dyslexia. She has worked as an advisor in the educational IT industry in the U.K. and is passionate about using IT to make learning accessible to all.

Carol Zuccone, EdD, is a licensed psychologist and licensed specialist in school psychology. With Dom Zuccone, she helped develop the first Irlen Clinic in Texas and the southern United States. She gave 30 years to public education as a teacher of English and Spanish, counselor, and school psychologist. Currently, she directs a private practice that focuses on assessment, therapy and, most importantly, providing the Irlen process. She provides Irlen screener training workshops throughout Texas.

Dominic (Dom) Zuccone holds an MFA in creative writing. He is a master educator who specializes in students with special needs. As co-director of the Irlen Clinic-Houston/Central Texas beginning in 1988, he helped pioneer the Irlen process in Texas and the southern United States. Although “retired” from public education in 2012, he has returned to education to encourage at-risk high school students to stay and obtain their diplomas in a charter school setting. Dom is a gifted poet who has published in a number of journals.

This promises to be an exciting and enlightening conference.  Plan now to attend – meet old friends and make new friends.  We are looking forward to seeing you there!