Special Needs Resource and Training Blog

Providing online disability awareness education and training resources

Meares-Irlen Syndrome

Meares-Irlen Syndrome is a  perceptual processing disorder and a form of visual stress which leads to difficulty in reading. 50 percent of people with dyslexia are affected. This also impacts people with migraines and epilepsy.

Other Known Names

  • Irlen Symptom
  • Visual Stress
  • Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome


  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Poor depth-perception
  • Discomfort in presence of fluorescent lighting
  • Discomfort with busy patterns
  • Writing problems
  • reading Difficulty
  • Attention and Concentration Limitations
  • Distortions

When reading, words may appear to:

  • Jump off the page
  • Spin and move around

What Meares-Irlen Syndrome Looks Like

Helping a Child with Meares-Irlen Syndrome

According to Helen Irlen, founder of the Irlen method, the following techniques should be used in helping a children diagnosed with Meares-Irlen Syndrome:

  • Copy tests, handouts, and assignments on colored paper or recycled paper.
  • Do written work on colored notebook paper.
  • Place reading material on angle or use a bookstand to reduce glare.
  • Allow students to sit near a window or indirect lighting.
  • Allow students to use a finger or marker.
  • Use graph paper for math.
  • Write in columns on the board.
  • Use gray or brown erase boards and avoid white boards.
  • Use a colored overlay on the overhead projector.
  • Xerox tests on colored paper.

At home:

  • Let your child work in a dimly lit room.
  • Allow the child to do work near a window or indirect natural lighting.
  • Have the child wear a hat when outside or in stores.
  • Change the background color of the computer screen.
  • Use Irlen colored overlays for reading and the same colored paper for assignments.
  • Let the child watch TV in a dimly lit room.
  • Avoid using bright colors, stripes, and patterns on the walls, floors, or furniture.

Strategic Planning Resources for Non-Profit Organizations


The success of any non-profit organization will depend largely on developing a good strategic plan. With more budget cuts on both state and federal level, organizations that provide services to children and adults with disabilities should have a strategic plan which helps in identifying the direction of the organization. A good strategic plan does the following:

  • Aligns the organization to its mission
  • Defines the goals of the organization and prioritizes each step.

Below are links to great articles on creating and developing a strategic plan.

10 Keys to Successful Strategic Planning for Nonprofit and Foundation Leaders

The Strategic Plan is Dead. Long Live Strategy

What Does a Good Nonprofit strategic Plan Look Like?

Developing Your Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan

Strategic Planning in Nonprofit Organizations- A Brief Overview

Strategic Planning: Five Steps to a More Secure Future

Strategic Planning in Smaller Nonprofit Organizations

Strategic Planning for Nonprofits

Create a Strategic Plan for your Nonprofit

Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations

Lessons Learned on Conducting the Strategic Planning Process for a Nonprofit

A Guide to Strategic Planning

Tools For Nonprofits

Community Resource Exchange



2016 Autism Conferences



Association for Behavior Analysis International

10th Annual Autism Conference International
Theme: Research into Evidence-Based Practice
Date: January 18-20, 2016
Location: Hyatt Regency, New Orleans; New Orleans, LA

Conference will feature topics developed specifically for practitioners, scientists and parents of children with autism.


Council for Exceptional Children/Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities

DADD 17th Annual International Conference on Autism, Intellectual Disabilities  and Developmental Disabilities
Date: January 20-22, 2016
Location: 1 Walkiki  Beach Resort and Spa
Honolulu, HI

The conference will integrate research and practice, reflecting the need for evidence-based and practice interventions within the field. The conference will feature more than 150 lectures and poster presentations.

Future Horizon, Inc.

Autism One Day Conference
Date: January 29, 2016
Location: Ramada Plaza Casper Hotel and Conference Center
Casper, WY

Features Renown Dr. Temple Grandin who will insights backed by research evidence and own experience.


Future Horizons, Inc.

Autism One Day Conference
Date: February 5, 2016
Location: Rapid City, SD

Features Renown Dr. Temple Grandin who will insights backed by research evidence and own experience.

The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism

Autism Conference
Date: February 11-12, 2016
Location: Coastal Georgia Center,
3015 Fahm Street
Savannah, GA

Conference will feature autism training and resources for law enforcement, emergency responders, parents, educators, caregivers and the autism community. Dr. Temple Grandin will be a featured speaker.

Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan

BAAM 30th Annual Convention
Date: February 18-19, 2016
Location: Eastern Michigan University/Student Center
Ypsilanti, MI

A multi-track, session oriented, academic and professional meeting.


Nebraska ASD Network

13th Annual Conference
Date: April 7-8, 2016
Location: Embassy Suites
La Vista, NE

University of New Mexico-Center for Development and Disability

Imagine Autism Conference
Theme: Remembering the Past-Looking to the Future
Date: April 7-8, 2016
Location: Sandia Resort and Conference Center
Albuquerque, NM

Focus will be on transition to adulthood, early childhood, communication, social and behavioral topics. for families, school staff, agencies, community organizations and people with autism.

Autism Society of Wisconsin

27th Annual Conference
Date: April 7-9, 2016
Location: Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center
Wisconsin Dells

Asperger Autism Spectrum Education Network (ASPEN)

Aspen’s Spring Conference
Date: April 10, 2016
Location: 120 South Wood Avenue S.
Iselin, NJ

Center for Autism and Related Disabilities

10th Annual Statewide Autism Conference
Theme:Supporting Inclusion, Relationships, and Learning for Students with Autism
Date: April 15, 2016
Location: Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside
Rochester, NY


St. Amant

Canadian Conference on Developmental Disabilities and Autism
Theme: Explore. Connect. Learn. Inspire.
Date: May 4-5, 2016
Location: Victorian Inn Hotel and Convention Centre
Winniepeg, Manitoba

Focus is on practical strategies and information that will allow professionals, paraprofessionals and decision-makers to better support they people they serve.

International Society for Autism Research (INSAR)

IMFAR Annual Meeting
Date: May 11-14, 2016
Location: Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, MD

Annual scientific meeting convened each spring to exchange and disseminate new scientific progress.


Milestone Autism Resources

Milestones Autism Conferences
Theme: Life-long strategies for success
Date: June 16-17, 2016
Location: Mayfield Hts, OH

An annual conference that brings family members and leading experts in the field of autism together to share evidence-based practical strategies and best practices


Autism Society

47th Annual Autism Society National Conference
Theme: Connect, Learn, Advocate & Thrive
Date(s):July 13, 2016- Preconference
July 14-16, 2016
Location: New Orleans Marriott
555 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

The conference represents one of the largest gathering of autism families, service providers, educators and policy makers


Penn State National Autism Conference
Date: August 1-4, 2016
Location-To Be Announce

Education Service Center, Region 2

24th Annual Texas Autism Conference
Date: August 4-5, 2016
Location: Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel

The goal is to provide parents, educators, and campus leadership with strategies, resources, tools and evidence-based practices.

U.S. Autism and Aspergers Association World Conference
Date: August 18-20, 2016
Location: To Be Announce


OMICS International

2nd Annual International Conference on Autism
Theme: Understanding Autistic Mind and Accelerating the Recovery
Date: September 15-16, 2016
Location: Phoenix , AZ

Brings together worldwide distinguish scholars and academies in the field of neuroscience and neurology, public health, professionals and scientists

National Autistic Society

XI Autism- Europe Conference
Theme: Happy, healthy and empowered
Date: September 16-18, 2016
Location: Edinburg International Conference Centre
Edinburgh, Scotland

Dedicated to sharing advances in practical and scientific knowledge about autism to as wide an audience as possible including researchers, professionals, parents and self-advocates.




Non-Profit of the Month- American Foundation for the Blind

American Foundation for the Blind

afb_org of month

Who They Are

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a non-profit organization that provides services for people with vision loss, information and tools for professionals who serve people with vision loss and promotes independent and healthy living.

How They Do It

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) offers a variety of programs and services that are geared toward improving the lives of people with vision loss  and their families. AFB also supports businesses, employers and professionals who provide services to blind and visually impaired people. Programs and services include:

  • Professional Development Material
  • Technology Evaluation
  • Demonstration Center
  • Public Policy Center

Upcoming Events

American Foundation for Blind Leadership Conference

March 3-5, 2016
Crystal Gateway Marriott
Arlington, VA
For more information, please click this link

Contact Information:

AFB Headquarters
2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102
New York, NY 10121

January Upcoming Events

January 6, 2016

Developing the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Groton City Fire Department
416 Benham Road
Groton, CT
For more information: www.cpainc.org

January 9, 2016

Asperger Syndrome and Adult Life
Crown Plaza Boston-Newton Hotel
Newton, MA
For more Information: Asperger/Autism Network

January 20-22, 2016

Council on Exceptional Children
Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Honolulu, HI
For More Information: www.cec.sped.org

January 22-23, 2016

Courage to Risk
Broadmoor Hotel
Colorado, Colorado Springs
For More Information: www.couragetorisk.org



Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

%d bloggers like this: