Welcome to the Orton Gillingham Online Academy! We are so glad you stopped by for a visit.


Who were Orton and Gillingham?

Samuel Torrey Orton (1879-1948)

A neuropsychiatrist and pathologist and his focus was on reading and language processing difficulties. He brought together neuroscientific information and principles of remediation. As early as the 1920s, he had extensively studied children with the kind of language processing difficulties now commonly associated with Dyslexia and had formulated a set of teaching principles and practices for such children.

Anna Gillingham (1878-1963)

A gifted educator and psychologist with a superb mastery of the language. Working with Dr. Orton, she trained teachers and compiled and published instructional materials. Over the last half century the Orton-Gillingham Approach has been the seminal and most influential intervention designed expressly for remediating the language processing problems of children and adults with Dyslexia.

We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to these 2 distinguished individuals, as the Orton Gillingham Approach has opened the door to language acquisition for countless individuals.


What is the Orton Gillingham Approach?

The Orton Gillingham Approach is a research based approach, and has been used for many decades to successfully provide literacy remediation to students of all ages.

The Orton Gillingham Approach is primarily used for those who have Dyslexia. These individuals have difficulty primarily in the areas of reading, writing, and spelling. Often these difficulties create a learning gap in other academic areas as well.

While those who do not have Dyslexia acquire language skills easily, those with Dyslexia need to be taught the various components that make up the English language. The Orton Gillingham Approach has stood the test of time and has been proven effective time and time again in assisting individuals to overcome their language-based disability.

In recent years, the Orton Gillingham Approach has also been adopted in general education classrooms, and has been very effective with the general education population. Due to the prescriptive nature of the Orton Gillingham Approach, the lesson plans target the student’s individual learning needs. It is so important to accommodate the varying needs and acknowledge the different learning styles by incorporating multisensory strategies in the classroom. In doing so, we set our students up for success, as well as ignite in them a renewed excitement and zest for learning.


How does the Orton Gillingham Approach work?

Many programs have evolved throughout the years from Orton Gillingham.

Though they have some differences, they all have the same necessary components to be effective for our students with Dyslexia, or specific language-based disability.

The essential elements of the Orton Gillingham Approach are:

  • Multisensory: A multisensory approach is one that taps into the various modalities by which we learn. We learn via the visual, auditory, kinesthetic (movement), and tactile (touch) pathways. The Orton Gillingham Approach is multisensory, making it an optimally effective teaching method.
  • Phonetic-Alphabetic: There is a logical connection between the sounds and symbols in our English language, as well as conventional rules that when applied produce independent readers. Teaching by using a sequential phonetic approach offers the students the tools necessary to unlock the door to reading acquisition. As the student reads, he/she can apply the rules of our language and analyze what is written for greater understanding.
  • Synthetic-Analytic: Synthetic Phonics is the learning of phonemes (the smallest unit of sound) and their corresponding graphemes (the written symbol for each phoneme). Analytic Phonics (whole-word approach) is breaking down a whole word to its parts with the help of decoding.
  • Structured: The materials taught are presented in an organized manner indicating the relationship between new and previously taught information. This presentation facilitates optimal student learning, as the tools of our language work together to develop competent, independent learners.
  • Sequential: This Approach moves from the simple concepts of our language to the more complex concepts. As the student masters the basic foundational language skills, they move on to the next step and so on until all steps are mastered.
  • Repetitive: The repetitive nature of the Orton Gillingham Approach promotes word recognition, reading fluency, and reading comprehension.
  • Cumulative: As language skills are mastered, new skills are introduced. This approach is cumulative and each step is an essential building block for the next sequential step.
  • Cognitive: The student learns and understands the rules of our language and how to apply those learned skills to become a fluid and proficient reader, an accurate speller, and a creative writer.
  • Diagnostic: The instructor is continuously progress monitoring the student’s performance to assess areas of need and responsiveness to instruction.
  • Prescriptive: The instructor then takes the diagnostic information and drives the subsequent lesson planning to best target and promote resolution to the student’s areas of need.

Who owns the Orton Gillingham Approach?

The Approach is not owned by any agency or organization. The Orton Gillingham Approach has been around since the 1930s and it is a teaching philosophy. Having said that, there are many learned individuals who have created their own programs and accreditation standards that have developed from the Orton Gillingham Approach.

The Orton Gillingham Online Academy practicum supervisors are experts in the field of Dyslexia and O-G. One has been the International Dyslexia Association Branch President for the state of Indiana and is an O-G Certified Master Trainer. Another is a Florida State University professor with 35 years of experience working in the field of Dyslexia and O-G (trained by Dr. Marge Tillman & David Schenck). Another has a doctorate in curriculum and Administration and is a Reading Specialist who has spent years facilitating Orton Gillingham trainings for teachers across the country. Our staff is highly qualified and gifted to provide the scaffolding needed to guide our participants successfully through the certification process.

Orton Gillingham Training Options:

  • Orton Gillingham Online Academy
  • Dyslexia Institute of Indiana
  • Dyslexia Training Institute
  • Wilson Reading System
  • Barton Reading and Spelling System
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Institute for Multi-sensory Education
  • Academy of Orton-Gillingham
  • Neuhaus Education Center
  • …and many more

Wonderful Orton Gillingham Resources:

  • Orton Gillingham Online Academy Products
  • Literacy Nest
  • Wise Owl Services
  • Ladder Learning Services
  • …and many more


As evidenced by the list above and the variety of others offering Orton Gillingham training opportunities and wonderful resources, there are many quality options available. If we are going to truly make a difference in the lives of those with Dyslexia, it is vital that we work together as a team and to collaborate with one another. The Orton Gillingham Online Academy has students from across the globe. Paths are appearing where they have never been before. We have course participants from Thailand, Singapore, Mongolia, Pakistan, Australia, Canada, Indian reservations in the United States, and several remote areas that would not have had access to the Orton Gillingham Approach if it were not for an online option.

Dr. Orton and Anna Gillingham came up with this amazing philosophy, now, let us get it out there to make the world of difference for those with Dyslexia!

We believe that all people have the right to reach their full potential. The Orton Gillingham Online Academy (OGOA) exists to serve children, adolescents, and adults with Dyslexia. The Orton Gillingham Online Academy offers parents and teachers resources to assist with teaching our English language. We are dedicated and committed to present to you tools that will enhance the teaching/learning venue. It is our goal to maintain a standard of excellence for the practice of the Orton Gillingham Approach.  We make it our mission to reach students across the globe.