MO Dyslexia Law and Dyslexia Task Force Recommendations

MO Dyslexia Law Addresses Screening, Classroom Support, Teacher Training, & Establishes the Dyslexia Task Force.  Task Force issues guidance in October of 2017.

Governor Nixon signed House Bill 2379 and Senate Bill 638 on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 2pm in Springfield at the Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC) Head Start location.

This act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop guidelines for the appropriate screening of students for dyslexia and related disorders and to develop the necessary *classroom support for such students by December 31, 2017.  Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, each public school including charter schools, shall conduct dyslexia screenings and provide reasonable classroom support consistent with the guidelines developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.Additionally, practicing teacher assistance programs shall include two hours of in-service training regarding dyslexia and related disorder provided by each school district for all practicing teachers.  Such training shall count as two contact hours of professional development.

This act also created the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia.  The Task Force was required to advise and make recommendations to the Governor, Joint Committee on Education, and relevant state agencies.  The Task Force consisted of twenty members, as described in the act.   The Task Force published their recommendations for a statewide system for identification, intervention, and delivery of supports for students with dyslexia.  The Task Force recommendations were published in October of 2017: Task Force Recommendations.

This is a tremendous step forward for public school students in MO!

*support is defined as “low-cost and effective best practices, such as oral examinations and extended test-taking periods, used to support students who have dyslexia or any related disorder”.

Enjoy the Step Up For Dyslexia 2017 Video

Thanks to everyone that joined us in 2017 for Step Up For Dyslexia.  Please enjoy this video with highlights from the day.  Be sure to mark your calendars for Sept 30, 2018 because we will be hosting Step Up For Dyslexia at Queeny Park again!  Please get in touch with us if you would like to help plan next year’s event or if you would like to bring Step Up For Dyslexia to your city.  You can reach us at info@decodingdyslexia-mo.org.

We already have plans underway to host an educational event this spring  that will help prepare parents and educators to be ready for the screening requirements that will roll out in fall of 2018.  Funds raised at Step Up For Dyslexia will be used to help keep this event affordable.  Stay tuned to our site for more detail.

Eyecandy Imaging is the official photographer of Step Up For Dyslexia.  You can view and order pictures:  Step Up For Dyslexia Pictures (enter YOUR email address and the password stepup2017)

Registration Open for DDMO Dyslexia Conference

Join us Friday, October 20, 2017,  for a conference entitled “Establishing Resilience in Youth with Dyslexia” presented by Decoding Dyslexia Missouri in conjunction with Burrell Behavioral Health in Springfield, MO.   This daylong event of expert advice will address the identification and treatment of dyslexia where we explore not only how to strengthen early identification, treatment, and resources; but also how to focus on building strengths and resilience.

Our national experts will provide information designed to guide the assessment of dyslexia and reading disorders, explore technology supports, as well as provide expert advice on building resilience in youth struggling with dyslexia.  Parents of Dyslexic students will benefit from the information and strategies discussed, as the conference will provide an enhanced understanding of current trends and advocacy for their children.

Registration is $39 for teachers and professionals, $29 for Students or Parents of a dyslexic child.  Seating is limited, so register early here to attend.  Traveling from out of town?  We have special room rates for the conference.  Please see details on the registration page.

Featured Presentations  

Dyslexia:  An Overview, Interventions, and Building Resilience

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Kelli Sandman-Hurley, EdD

Dr. Sandman-Hurley, author of “The Dyslexia Advocate” and co-founder of The Dyslexia Training Institute,  will be providing an overview of what dyslexia is, and what it is not.   Dyslexia is not a gift.  It just isn’t.  Students with dyslexia are not going to be successful, creative geniuses because they are dyslexic.  They are going to be successful, creative geniuses because they are resilient, have support from community and family, are smart, and like the rest of us found something they love.   The books written about those who are uber successful have super-supportive families or someone in their life who took an interest.  You may be that person.   Throughout the day Dr. Sandman-Hurley will describe what dyslexia is – from symptoms to challenges, to interventions, and finally to building the characteristics that lead to resilience.  She will also provide an introduction to teaching the structure of the English language.

Technology for Students with Dyslexia

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John Effinger, MS, CCC-SLP

This session will discuss technology accommodations for students with Dyslexia in the classroom. Alternative text access for reading and writing will be discussed including alternative educational materials (AEM) for students not on an IEP.  In addition, we will discuss computers and tablets that can be used with software and apps to increase access to text and increase written production.

Self Advocacy for the Dyslexic Student

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A. Noel Leif, CALT/ICALP

This session will discuss the importance of teaching and encouraging children to have the ability to self-advocate in the classroom setting.  Children need to know how to tell their story effectively and communicate their strengths as well as their challenges and how to ask for what they need to succeed from educators.

 

 

 

Step Up For Dyslexia Awareness Walk Sept 24

Join Decoding Dyslexia-MO For A Picnic And Awareness Walk

Decoding Dyslexia Missouri is a grassroots parent-led movement with a three-pronged
mission to educate, advocate and legislate on behalf of those with
dyslexia. We are focused on linking families to resources, support, and
educational interventions for dyslexia. Our goal is to raise dyslexia awareness,
empower families to support their children and inform policy-makers on best
practices to identify, remediate and support students with dyslexia in Missouri.

With your support, this event will rally families, friends and supporters of
DDMO as we work together to achieve our mission and create change for
children and adults with dyslexia in our community. All proceeds will directly
support DDMO’s mission.

Sign Up Here (you can sign up as an individual or form a team):
https://runsignup.com/Race/MO/SaintLouis/StepUpforDyslexia

September 24th, 2017 at 12pm
Queeny Park Corporate Pavilion- Saint Louis, MO

12pm Registration and Picnic (bring a picnic lunch)
1:15pm Welcome
1:30pm Race Begins
2:30 Greet Fredbird

Sponsored by Speech Language Learning Systems

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Legislation Enacts Task Force on Dyslexia

Governor Jay Nixon signed HB 2379 in Springfield Missouri on June 22, 2016, effectively creating the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia.  The Task Force will advise and make recommendations to the Governor, Joint Committee on Education, and relevant state agencies for a statewide system for identification, intervention, and delivery of supports for students with dyslexia, as described in the act.

The Task Force will consist of twenty one members, as described in the act.  Except for four legislative members and the Commissioner of Education, the members will be appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Names were submitted from across the State from stakeholders and state agencies for review by the Missouri legislature for appointments.  The Senate released their list on August 31st and the House on September 7, which named the panel for the Task Force.  Below is a list of appointments.

task-force-list

Thanks to all of the DD-MO members that made passing HB2379 possible!  Your hard work is beginning to pay off!!

Reading Research

The American Academy of Pediatrics: Section on Ophthalmology and Council on Children with Disabilities, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and American Association of Certified Orthoptists published a Joint Policy Statement in August, 2009:

ABSTRACT

dyslexia readingLearning disabilities, including reading disabilities, are commonly diagnosed in children. Their etiologies are multifactorial, reflecting genetic influences and dysfunction of brain systems. Learning disabilities are complex problems that require complex solutions. Early recognition and referral to qualified educational professionals for evidence-based evaluations and treatments seem necessary to achieve the best possible outcome. Most experts believe that dyslexia is a language-based disorder. Vision problems can interfere with the process of learning; however, vision problems are not the cause of primary dyslexia or learning disabilities. Scientific evidence does not support the efficacy of eye exercises, behavioral vision therapy, or special tinted filters or lenses for improving the long-term educational performance in these complex pediatric neurocognitive conditions. Diagnostic and treatment approaches that lack scientific evidence of efficacy, including eye exercises, behavioral vision therapy, or special tinted filters or lenses, are not endorsed and should not be recommended.

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) developed the Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading which outlines the requirements needed to become certified in Structured Literacy.  There are 2 paths for certification:

  1. university programs accredited by the IDA, and
  2. independent teacher training programs accredited by the IDA.
Background and History on the “Reading Wars”
 National Reading Panel
Literate Nation
 Reading Recovery
By Louisa Moats

 

Dyslexia and the New Science of Reading: this article appeared in Newsweek in November 1999 yet is still very relevant today.

Sherman on Brain Research and Reading

NCLD’s Reading Comprehension Instruction for Students with Learning Disabilities

Wrightslaw The Best Kept Secret in Special Education

Wrightslaw Fifth grader is reading at 2.7 grade level. Should he be tested for Special Ed?

Lighting the Way: The Reading Panel Report Ought to Guide Teacher Preparation

Don’t “Dys” Our Kids:  Dyslexia and the Quest for Grade Level Reading

Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) and Reading Fluency: Implications for Understanding and Treatment of Reading Disabilities by Elizabeth S. Norton and Maryanne Wolf

 Effectiveness of Treatment Approaches for Children and Adolescents with Reading Disabilities: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

The Usefulness of Brief Instruction in Reading Comprehension Strategies

 

Governor Nixon Signed Dyslexia Legislation

It is official!  Governor Nixon signed House Bill 2379 and Senate Bill 638 on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 2pm in Springfield at the Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC) Head Start location at 552 N Stewart Avenue, Springfield, MO.   There was a celebratory reception at 3:30pm hosted by the Springfield Center for Dyslexia and Learning located at 100 East Primrose St., Suite 530, Springfield, MO 65807.

By December 31, 2017, this act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop guidelines for the appropriate screening of students for dyslexia and related disorders and to develop the necessary classroom support for such students.  Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, each public school including charter schools, shall conduct dyslexia screenings and provide reasonable classroom support consistent with the guidelines developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Additionally, practicing teacher assistance programs shall include two hours of in-service training regarding dyslexia and related disorder provided by each school district for all practicing teachers.  Such training shall count as two contact hours of professional development.

This act also creates the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia.  The Task Force will advise and make recommendations to the Governor, Joint Committee on Education, and relevant state agencies.  The TAsk Force will consist of twenty members, as described in the act.  Except for four legislative members and the Commissioner of Education, the members will be appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.  The Task Force will make recommendations for a statewide system for identification, intervention, and delivery of supports for students with dyslexia, as described in the act.

This is a tremendous step forward for public school students in MO!

 

 

Dyslexia Bills Passed This Legislative Session

We can finally celebrate! HB2379, SB635, and SB638 have all passed and will head to the Governor’s desk. These bills contain dyslexia language. Thanks to Representative Swan, Representative Burlison, and Senator Sifton for your tireless work this legislative session on behalf of kids with dyslexia in MO. A special thanks also goes to Jewell Patek and David Winton for helping us in the legislature. And of course we owe a debt of gratitude to all of the legislators that voted in favor of these bills and helped move forward the dyslexia legislation.

All of the bills contain the same language (as it pertains to dyslexia) and include dyslexia screening, teacher training, and the Dyslexia Task Force. Once the Governor signs the bills, they will become laws! Yeah!!!

This is an excerpt from HB2379’s Bill Summary:

“This bill requires each public school to screen students for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times in accordance with rules established by the State Board of Education. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) must develop guidelines for the appropriate screening of students and the necessary classroom supports. The requirements and guidelines must be consistent with the findings and recommendations of the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia, which is also created by this bill.

The school board of each district and governing board of each charter school must provide reasonable support consistent with the guidelines developed by DESE. “Related disorders” are defined as disorders similar to or related to dyslexia, such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.

Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, practicing teacher assistance programs will include two hours of in-service training regarding dyslexia and related disorders.

This bill establishes the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia. The task force consists of 21 specified members including two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and two members appointed by the President Pro Tem of the Senate. The task force must meet quarterly and make recommendations to the Governor, the Joint Committee on Education, and specified state agencies. The task force will make recommendations for a statewide system for identification, intervention, and delivery of supports for students with dyslexia including the development of resource materials, professional development activities, and proposed legislation.

The task force authorized under these provisions will expire on August 31, 2018.”

Be sure to thank your legislators for voting for these bills (legislator lookup) along with the Sponsors of all of the Dyslexia Bills (Senator Sifton, Representative Swan, and Representative Burlison).  These legislators also deserve special recognition:  Speaker RichardsonRepresentative Jones, Senator Kehoe, Senator Romine, Senator Onder, Senator Brown, and Representative Lair.

Don’t forget to write Governor Nixon and ask him to sign these bills into law: https://governor.mo.gov/get-involved/contact-the-governors-office.