About Us

Spreading Dyslexia Awareness and Empowering Individuals with Dyslexia and their Families 


Decoding Dyslexia Rhode Island (DDRI) was founded in March 2014. DDRI is part of a national parent-led grassroots movement concerned with limited access to educational interventions for dyslexia within the public education system. DDRI supports students with dyslexia and their families by: 



The Right to Read Act 


 Raimondo signs education bills on dyslexia, recess and bi-literacy

Dyslexia screening bills signed into law

Meet the DDRI Board 

Suzanne Arena -Founder of DDRI and Secretary/Parent Outreach

As a parent and long time advocate for children with special needs, Suzanne Arena is uniquely qualified to act as a Parent Advocate.  Her true passion is helping families who struggle to support the needs of their children. She started the Rhode chapter of Decoding Dyslexia (DDRI) at the end of 2014. She has successfully advocated on behalf of children at their IEP/504 meetings, along with empowering hundreds of families to advocate on behalf of their own children.  She was an unpaid lobbyist from 2015-2016, and utilized her strong communication and mediation skills. She also co-founded another advocacy organization and got them off the ground, but chose to continue exclusively working with DDRI. Suzanne has attended dozens of conferences, 11 seminars and trainings as they relate to special education, with emphasis on Dyslexia (At-risk readers/Math), ADHD and other learning challenges.  Several awards of recognition have been acquired over the years such as Frances C. Dixon Advocacy Award; Dedicated Service to Education from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Certificate of Recognition for Education Achievement from then State Treasurer Gina Raimondo. In addition, she has worked as a community organizer with dedicated activism that has established a process in areas of need. 

Shannon Saglio -President 

Shannon is currently a Secondary Instructional Coach for a public school in Connecticut specializing in instructional technology. She has over twenty years of experience in public education including roles as a high school social studies teacher, District Curriculum Council Co-Chair, Curriculum Interventionist, and After-School Intervention Coordinator. She received her M.A.T. Degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University. Shannon is a mother of a dyslexic child and was a member of the leadership team for the Westerly Special Education Local Advisory Committee from 2018-2023. She is a member of the Rhode Island Science of Reading Group leadership team and a member of the SPDG Stakeholder Team led by the Rhode Island Department of Education. Shannon is committed to educational equity, addressing the research gap in schools, and creating stronger relationships between families and educators to ensure all students have the opportunity to succeed.  

Kari Kurto-Vice-President/Education Outreach 

Kari Kurto is the National Science of Reading Project Director at The Reading League. She formerly worked as a Literacy Specialist at the Rhode Island Department of Education where she led statewide efforts to implement the Rhode Island Right to Read Act, legislation that requires teacher training in the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy. Kari is an Orton Gillingham practitioner who worked at Middlebridge School in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and Rawson Saunders School in Austin, Texas. Before her career in education, Kari was a Casting Director in Los Angeles.

Lise Moloney-Vice-President/Director of Communications 

Lise is an engineering consultant and the mother of a 7th grader with dyslexia.  She is a researcher by training and dove right into the reading research to educate herself and others about dyslexia, special education laws and how best to teach our students with dyslexia.  In addition to her responsibilities with Decoding Dyslexia RI, Lise is also on the board of the Newport County Regional Special Education Local Advisory Committee and the Middletown Prevention Coalition.  She is passionate about educating others about dyslexia and advocating for systemic change so reading is no longer a privilege and all children learn to read through a free and appropriate public education.   

Tori Jessup-Crowley-Director of Policy and Public Outreach 

Tori started with DDRI in 2015 and is currently a Special Education Advocate and Parent Coach. She is also the parent of two children with dyslexia and another child who is neurodivergent. She has over 15 years of experience in advocacy, including roles as Parent Group Leader for the East Providence Preschool of Special Needs Children, Member of the RI Legislative Dyslexia Commission, and Mentor and Secretary of the East Providence SELAC. She continues to work on dyslexia legislation (including the 2016 dyslexia law) and other special education policies within Rhode Island and federally. She has pursued many certifications and professional development opportunities relating to dyslexia, literacy, the science of reading, and ADHD. Tori is committed to her true passion of educating and empowering parents to advocate for their students and help special education children under DCYF care.  

Tiffany Solomon-Family & Student Engagement Coordinator

Tiffany is a veteran teacher at the Highlander Charter School (Highlander) in Providence, Rhode Island. Tiffany is a primary teaching member of Highlander's weekly itinerant collaborative meetings, where she works with the special education support team to implement specialized,  evidenced-based strategies within her classroom to ensure success for students who learn differently.  She is endorsed at the Associate level through The Orton-Gillingham Academy (OGA). Tiffany was honored to serve as a Literacy Ambassador through the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) in 2019-2020. She holds a Master's degree in Education, Teaching, and Learning from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.  

Jane Moran- Treasurer

Jane began her advocacy a decade ago advocating for her children. She spent countless hours reading about federal and state regulations. In 2017 she completed a three-day boot camp training by Peter Wright. She continues to attend meetings and stays informed about the federal and state regulations.