The mission of ALTA-AL is to support ALTA’s mission of promoting quality practices and guidance in the field of dyslexia and act as a resource for our communities in Alabama.
We are dedicated to providing continuing education opportunities that promote the professional growth of our members. Events are worth continuing education hours (CE) to use towards ALTA membership requirements.
Find an Alabama Professional
Our members are made up of individuals with the CALP, CALT, ICALP, or CALT-QI distinction. Find an ALTA-certified professional in your area that represents the highest quality services to those individuals with dyslexia.
ALTA-AL is made up of therapists and practitioners dedicated to providing rigorous evidence-based multisensory structured language education (MSLE) therapy to individuals with dyslexia. Meet the leadership team.
Rhonda Smith, M.Ed., CALT-QI
Rhonda holds a Master of Education in Dyslexia Therapy. She has been involved in education for over 25 years in private and public schools and supplemental education. She is currently a Dyslexia Specialist with the Dyslexia Resource Center in Baton Rouge and has served as a Dyslexia Interventionist in private and public schools for over 10 years. She serves on the Boaz City Board of Education and represents the Alabama School Board Association on the Alabama Literacy Task Force.
Mandy Smith, M.Ed., CALT
Mandy has a Masters in Elementary Education with 23 years of teaching experience. She initially became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2005 and renewed her certification in 2015. She received her CALT Certification in August 2021. She is currently employed as the Academic Interventionist at Vestavia Elementary West.
Lesa Torain, M.Ed., CALT-QI
Lesa Torain is a Literacy Specialist Coordinator for Decatur City Schools who knows the importance of all students learning to read. She began her journey in Education with a BS in Elementary Education from Athens State University in Athens, Alabama. She taught 3rd and 4th grades for several years before receiving a MA in Teaching and Learning with a Specialization in Reading from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She worked as a Local Reading Specialist for the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) for several years. During this time, she was trained as a dyslexia therapist in the Shelton Academic Reading Approach (Take Flight) and became a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) in 2015.
While working on becoming a Qualified Instructor for Shelton Academic Reading Approach, she completed Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) for Elementary Teachers in 2021. In 2022, she received a Certificate of Achievement for a Qualified Instructor (QI) for Shelton Academic Reading Approach at the Therapy Level. During the summer of 2022, she completed Neuhaus Reading Readiness On-Demand.
Lesa Torain is a member of the Literacy Task Force for Alabama and is very dedicated to serving and working as an advocate for literacy.
Sonya Yates, M.Ed., NCBT and CALT
Member at Large
Sonya is a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) and National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), Sonya has certifications in special education, psychometry, and instructional leadership. Sonya’s statewide appointments include roles with the Alabama Literacy Task Force, the Alabama Committee on Grade Level Reading, and the Alabama Dyslexia Advisory Council (DAC). She has also been a charter member of the DAC since its 2015 creation by the Alabama State Board of Education.