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Assemblymember Simon Announces Dyslexia Awareness Month

Media Release: October 1, 2018
Contact: Alexis Sfikas | | 718-246-4889

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon Announces Dyslexia Awareness Month:

State Education Department Issues Dyslexia Guidance

Brooklyn, NY – October 1st, 2018, marks the first day of Dyslexia Awareness Month. The New York State Education Department (SED), issued dyslexia guidance documents in August, pursuant to legislation passed by Assemblymember Simon in 2017 (A8262/S6581). These guidance documents were created in cooperation with stakeholders throughout the state, including a Town Hall held by Assemblymember Simon at the 3rd Annual Dyslexia Awareness Day in Albany last April, where students with dyslexia, parents, educators, and advocates from across the state brought attention to the need for schools to better serve kids with dyslexia. Representatives from SED attended the Town Hall.

One in five children have dyslexia, a language-based learning disability that makes word recognition, spelling and reading success a difficult task. But too many school administrators believed they could not use the names of specific learning disorders, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia or dyscalculia, in the development of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). This law will help more children learn to read and be successful students because when children’s learning disabilities are clearly defined, educational interventions can be tailored to their needs and educators will be in a better position to teach them.

Throughout the month of October, Assemblymember Simon will be sharing resources on dyslexia and hosting events for students, parents, and educators and advocating for early screening, better teacher preparation and professional development so that our teachers have the skills they need to teach all our children.

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon said, “Dyslexia is the most prevalent learning disability in children, and yet, most parents, teachers, and administrators have trouble recognizing its symptoms. Identifying dyslexia on IEPs is a big step forward in ensuring that kids get the help that they need to learn and thrive. These documents are a good first step, but there is still more to do. During Dyslexia Awareness Month, we must make sure that this new State guidance is shared widely with parents, teachers and school administrators so that every student has a full and fair opportunity to read and to succeed.”

As someone who struggled with dyslexia as a child, I know that allowing for a diagnosis of dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia on a child’s IEP will help to ensure that the child receives the appropriate educational services to which they are entitled,” said Assemblymember Robert C. Carroll, “Proper diagnosis and early intervention are essential to a child becoming academically successful and this law will help ensure that happens. As someone who received appropriate and timely intervention and educational services – it is essential that all children are screened for Dyslexia and that all of our elementary schools have the ability to handle dyslexic students’ specific learning needs. I commend Assemblymember Simon for her expertise and tireless advocacy around this issue. 

California’s Lt. Governor, and now candidate for Governor, Gavin Newsom has dyslexia. Watch his powerful discussion of why using the word Dyslexia and helping teachers recognize it and target instruction is so important!