On October 25, 2012, Drs. Sally and Bennett Shaywitz, co-directors of The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, were honored with the Samuel Torrey Orton Award, The International Dyslexia Association's highest honor in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the scientific study of dyslexia from research to practice.
The award recognizes the Drs. Shaywitz as individuals who have made an essential contribution to the understanding of the underlying neurobiology and cognitive basis of dyslexia, knowledge which has significantly advanced the capacity to successfully intervene and understand the neurobiological need for accommodations for the word retrieval and reading difficulties of people with dyslexia.
After receiving the award, Drs. Sally and Bennett Shaywitz presented the Samuel Torrey and June Lyday Orton Lecture: Dyslexia: Translating Scientific Progress into Policy and Practice to a packed ballroom of 2000 people who had signed up to hear the lecture. The speakers detailed the scientific advances including the 'neural signature for dyslexia' that as Dr. Bennett Shaywitz so vividly stated "has made a hidden disability visible" and concluded with a quote from their own role model, Dr. Orton, "The physician brings to his task a feeling of personal responsibility to the patient indelibly impressed upon him as a part of the heritage of medicine," that has guided their professional lives. At the conclusion of the talk, the Drs. Shaywitz received a standing ovation. Afterward, Dr. Sally Shaywitz signed copies of her critically acclaimed book, Overcoming Dyslexia (Knopf, 2003; Vintage, 2005) for a long line of parents and teachers who told her how important her book was in improving the life of her child, her student or herself and that this book was their 'bible.'
Drs. Sally and Bennett Shaywitz are unusual, too, in that both are elected members of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and also yearly, selected as one of the Best Doctors in America, which recognize their scientific leadership together with their commitment to translating scientific progress in dyslexia into policy and practice. This passion for translating scientific progress into practice in dyslexia led them to create the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity which they now proudly and passionately co-direct.