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Mark Brugger Presented Harrison Sylvester Award by Learning Disabilities Association of America

Pittsburgh, PA (March 8, 2018) – Mark Brugger of Princeton Junction, NJ, received the Harrison Sylvester Award during the 55th Annual International Learning Disabilities of America (LDA) Conference on Thursday, February 22nd at the Hilton Atlanta, in Atlanta, GA.

Brugger developed “Spotlight on Dyslexia,” an online conference that draws a national audience to the latest information on learning disabilities presented by nationally recognized speakers.

The Harrison Sylvester Award recipient is a person with learning disabilities who has shown a significant commitment and dedication to adults with learning disabilities and their issues. It honors Harry Sylvester, a gentle but strong voice in the field of learning disabilities. After struggling for most of his life, Sylvester discovered in his mid-50s, that he was an adult with learning disabilities. With this knowledge came an empowerment to help others and he dedicated his life to this work. As president of LDA, Sylvester carried LDA’s message of acceptance, understanding, and support throughout the country.

Like Sylvester, Mark Brugger struggled through high school without accommodations and specialized instruction. Encouraged by a teacher who recognized his potential, Brugger graduated valedictorian but at a heavy price: too many hours spent on homework, test anxiety, and limited friends or extracurricular activities. He went on to the University of Virginia (UVA) where he was identified with multiple learning disabilities.

Mentored by a School of Education professor who specialized in learning disabilities, Brugger graduated from UVA, earned an MBA from the University of Michigan, and continued on a career path he describes as “non-standard but rewarding” as a global software and telecom entrepreneur.  He works with youths and adults who have special needs, he said, “to honor those educators and advocates that helped me become successful.”

Brugger designed “Dyslexia: Making It Personal,” a dyslexia simulation for the LDA New Jersey fall conference. It enables participants to experience low self-esteem, frustration, and the turn-off to learning that someone with dyslexia might have.

In addition to being the founder of “Spotlight on Dyslexia,” Brugger founded an online literacy training program for educators; volunteers with, an internship program for students with disabilities who plan to transition directly to the workforce after HS; and co-founded SKIT –Special Kids Improvisational Theater which seeks to improve the social and communications skills of middle and high school students with disabilities.

In the attached photo of Brugger receiving the Harry Sylvester Award, is Julia Frost (center), Chair of LDA’s Adult Topics Committee, and Leslie Rubinstein (right), President of the Learning Disabilities Association of New Jersey (LDANJ). LDANJ will be holding a “Life after High School Transition Conference and Resource Expo”on June 3, 2018. More information can be found at

LDA’s annual conference on learning disabilities is a comprehensive resource for parents, educators, adults with LD, and professionals. Experts from across the country are featured speakers in more than 200 sessions looking at learning disabilities as they impact the individual across the lifespan. Topics include assessment and evaluation, effective instruction, use of technology, parent and family issues, transition to post-secondary education, advocacy and public policy, early childhood, cultural diversity, professional development, mental health, and much more. LDA’s 56th Annual International Conference will take place February 18-21, 2019 in Ft. Worth, Texas.


About the Learning Disabilities Association of America:

The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) is a non-profit organization of parents, educators, adults with learning disabilities, and professionals providing support, information, and advocacy on behalf of individuals with learning disabilities. For further information, go to