Smith, Brownley: Clarify Current Law on Dyslexia Resources

Jul 31, 2015

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA), along with 26 other members of Congress, today sent a bi-partisan letter to the U.S. Department of Education requesting the Department communicate with states and school districts regarding dyslexia resources that are currently available.

The letter states: “On behalf of children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities in our districts, we request that the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issue guidance to states and school districts regarding the use of the term ‘dyslexia.’… Despite the prevalence of dyslexia among students, parents nationwide have discovered that some states and school districts will not include – the word “dyslexia” in a students’ Individualized Educational Program (IEP). In many cases, parents have been told that their state does not “recognize” dyslexia; and instead only uses the term ‘specific learning disability.’

“Families in our Congressional districts rely on access to a high quality education for their children with dyslexia. We look forward to your ensuring that the millions of students with dyslexia receive the evidence-based instruction and interventions needed to succeed in school and life.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

In addition to today’s letter, Reps. Smith and Brownley also recently introduced H.R. 3033, the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act  or READ Act, a bipartisan bill to support dyslexia research.