Legislative Alert: Senate “Reading Success” Bill Hearing Set for Tuesday, February 9

The Missouri Senate “Reading Success” bill (SB54) has been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Education Committee next Tuesday, February 9!

Senate Bill (SB54) “The Reading Success Bill” sponsored by Sen. O’Laughlin will be heard at a time and place TBD. We will post the assigned time/location on our DDMO Facebook page and our DDMO FB Group Page once the hearing has been set.

Take a moment to review the full text of this bill by clicking on the bill number (highlighted in blue) above and read our “Talking Points”.  Then let the Committee Members know how crucial appropriate evidenced-based reading instruction is for dyslexic children. This legislation would positively influence all children struggling with literacy in public schools.

We cannot over-emphasize how important your calls/emails will be in the forward movement of this bill and future passage!

Please let the Committee members know that this bill really matters to families in MO! Please contact the following members of the Senate Education Committee by phone or email to respectfully request their support. Personal examples of your child’s struggles and when he or she has succeeded with the right kind of help will make your story, letter or email more compelling. (See sample letter below for ideas.)

Senate Education Committee Members:

Senator Cindy O’Laughlin (Committee Chair/Bill Sponsor) (573) 751-7985 email (to thank her for sponsoring the bill) here

Senator Rick Brattin (Committee Vice Chair) email here

Senator Lauren Arthur (573) 751-5282 email here

Senator Mike Cierpiot (573) 751-1464 email here

Senator Elaine Gannon (573) 751-4008 email here

Senator Andrew Koenig (573) 751-5568 email here

Senator Greg Razer (573) 751-6607 email here

Senator Bob Onder (573) 751-1282 email here

Senator Jill Schupp (573) 751-9762 email here

*Please note that the above Senate email links will display a disclaimer. Please click on “Continue to the contact page” to submit your email message.

Contact us at info@decodingdyslexia-mo.org with any questions regarding the bill.

Please take a moment today to show your support for appropriate reading interventions for students with dyslexia! ____________________________________________________________________________

Sample letter:

Dear __________,

I am writing today to ask for your support of Senate Bill 54 (SB54) that will be heard in your Education Committee on Tuesday, February 9. This bill will require schools to adopt an appropriate intervention program that is evidenced based to help children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.

My child has struggled…(include a short personal story).

That is why I feel that not only my child but every child who struggles with dyslexia would benefit from the passage of Senate Bill 54 (SB54). I respectfully ask for your support of this bill!

Sincerely, ____________________________________________________________________________

Let’s Make 2021 a “Reading Success”! Support SB54 and HB368

The “Reading Success” bills (SB54 and HB368), sponsored by Senator O’Laughlin and Representative Gregory, update current state statute to include appropriate, scientific evidence-based practices that help students with dyslexia and other reading deficiencies learn to read. It would require schools to use structured literacy and the science of reading for students who are screened positive for dyslexia in public school screenings or who have a diagnosis of dyslexia.

SB54 has been sent to the Senate Education Committee and has not yet been assigned a hearing date.  Please contact your legislators today and ask them to support SB54 and HB368!  You can find the contact information for your legislators here.

We will be sure to keep you updated as these bills progress during the session.  Let’s make 2021 the year that all children have “Reading Success”!

House “Reading Success” Bill (HB2470) March 17 Hearing Cancelled Due to CoVID-19 Restrictions at State Capitol

The MO State Capitol has now been put on a restriction of “essential personnel” only due to the CoVID-19 prevention concerns, and the March 17 House Education Committee public hearing for HB2470 has been cancelled.

We will update everyone on any rescheduling information or ways to submit testimony as they are communicated.

In the meantime, please support this important bill by contacting the House Education Committee members and asking for their support of structured literacy.   A bill summary can be found here.  Full details of HB2470 can be found here.

Take a moment to review the full text of this bill and read our “Talking Points”.  Then let the Committee Members know how crucial appropriate evidenced-based reading instruction is for dyslexic children.   This legislation would positively influence all children struggling with literacy in public schools.

We cannot over-emphasize how important your calls/emails will be in the forward movement of this bill and future passage!

Let’s show our Legislators that this bill really matters to families in MO!   Please contact the following members of the House Education Committee by phone or email to respectfully request them for their support.  Personal examples of your child’s struggles and when he or she has succeeded with the right kind of help will make your story, letter or email more compelling.  (See sample letter below for ideas.)

House Education Committee Members:

Rep Chuck Basye (Committee Chairman)  (573) 751-1501  email here
Rep. Dottie Bailey (Committee Vice-Chair)  (573) 751-0562   email here
Rep. Judy Morgan  (573) 751-4485  email here
Rep. Ben Baker (573) 751-9781  email here
Rep. Gretchen Bangert (573) 751-5365  email here
Rep. Paula Brown (573) 751-4163  email here
Rep. Phil Christofanelli  (573) 751-2949   email here
Rep. Shamed Dogan (573) 751-4392  email here
Rep. Karla Eslinger (573) 751-2042  email here
Rep. Michael O’Donnell  (573) 751-3762   email here
Rep. Raychel Proudie (573) 751-0855  email here
Rep. Nick Schroer  (573) 751-1470  email here
Rep. Dan Stacy  (573) 751-8636   email here
Rep. Kathryn Swan  (573) 751-1443   email here

Contact us here with any questions regarding these bills.

Please take a moment today to show your support for appropriate reading interventions for students with dyslexia!
____________________________________________________________________________________

Sample letter:

Dear  __________,

I am writing today to ask for your support of (insert bill number here__________) that has been referred to your Education Committee and was scheduled to be heard on March 17.  This bill will require schools to adopt a structured literacy intervention program that is evidenced based to help children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.

My child has struggled…(include a short personal story).

That is why I feel that not only my child but every child who struggles with dyslexia would benefit from the passage of HB2470.  I respectfully ask for your support of this bill!

Sincerely,

October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month!

Organizations across the country are promoting dyslexia awareness.  We invite you to check out the many ways to get involved and promote awareness.  The perfect place to start?  Join the Decoding Dyslexia-MO movement, of course!  Scroll down to find more ways to get involved.
Join The Decoding Dyslexia-MO Movement
Are you passionate about raising dyslexia awareness and empowering families to support their children with dyslexia?  Would you like to help inform policy-makers on the state of dyslexia in MO schools?  Then we need you as a member!

Becoming a member is simple.  There are no dues or fees and any level of participation is valued.  Perhaps you want to volunteer your time and talent.  Or you simply want to receive legislative alerts.  A key to Decoding Dyslexia’s success across the country has been the willingness of individuals such as yourself to share their story and knowledge with other parents and educators in their day to day life.

Please fill out our contact form (to the right of this post) to sign up as a member and join our email list.  You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and join our Decoding Dyslexia MO Group page on Facebook.  We would love to hear from you!  DDMO is a completely free, volunteer organization with no fees for membership.

 Start A Conversation About Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities 

Ever find yourself at a loss for words when trying to explain to others what it really means when you say, “My child has a learning disability”? What do you say to your own parents for whom the concept of dyslexia or learning disabilities might not be familiar? How about coaches? If you have other children without LD or related issues, how do you talk to them?

The National Center For Learning Disabilities (www.ncld.org) developed resources to ensure that every stakeholder knows the important role they can play in helping students develop essential self-advocacy skills and the capacity for self-determination. Here are some of the activities each stakeholder can engage in to make a difference:

Self Advocacy Skills and Self-Determination for Students with Disabilities

 Share Your Story

Someone out there needs you.  Whether you’re “The One” with dyslexia or you’re “Helping The One” with dyslexia, your voice is powerful.  Learning Ally has created a website, www.explore1in5.org, dedicated helping the estimated 60 million people dealing with dyslexia.

If you’re ‘the one’ in 1in5, tell your story at Being the One.

If you’re part of a dyslexic’s support system – Mom, Dad, family, and friends – tell your story at Helping the One.

 

Register for DDMO/MPACT Conference Now!

 

Join us Friday, May 3, 2019,  for a conference entitled “How to Improve Word-Level Reading in Students with Dyslexia” featuring David Kilpatrick, PhD and presented by Decoding Dyslexia MO in conjunction with MPACT Missouri Parents ACT.

Implementation of the new Missouri state dyslexia law began this school year and additional legislation focused on evidence-based reading interventions has been filed in the legislature. To support teachers, parents and other professionals in understanding dyslexia and other reading disabilities, David Kilpatrick, Ph.D. will present in St. Louis, Missouri on May 3. David’s book, Essentials of Assessing, Preventing, and Overcoming Reading Difficulties, is used by DESE and the RPDC Dyslexia Consultants as a source of information and study.

The presentation will focus on how children learn to read words and why some children struggle. Understanding the nature of word-level reading development and word-level reading problems will guide both assessment and intervention. Studies consistently show that the most commonly used intervention approaches provide limited benefits for weak readers. However, other studies have shown that some approaches can yield very large reading gains for such students. Once we understand how reading works and why some students struggle, the reasons for this pattern of intervention findings become clear. The focus is on establishing the best instructional and intervention practices.

More about David Kilpatrick, PhD https://equippedforreadingsuccess.com/about-the-author/

**Thanks to DD-MO and MPACT donors we are able to provide this conference for a discounted rate.**

Register Today!

Included in registration: Light Breakfast, Lunch and Refreshments

Registration
Parent Registration = $75
Early Bird Professional Registration = $85
Professional After April 3, 2019= $100
REFUNDS: No refunds. Tickets are transferrable.
CEU’s pending

Discounted room blocks available at Holiday Inn available until 4/11/2019.
Exhibitor tables limited- $100 (lunch and seminar included)

Visit this link to book the $94 rate for Decoding Dyslexia and MPACT. The room code is APM.
https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/st-louis/stlsw/hoteldetail?cm_mmc=GoogleMaps-_-HI-_-US-_-STLSW

Contact Amey McAllister at amcallister@missouriparentsact.org for more information.

 

Urgent Legislative Update – SB949

Senate Bill 949 (SB949) has received Senate approval and will be heard this Monday, May 14 at 2 pm by the House Rules Committee in House Hearing Room 1.  Please take a moment to review SB949 here, which establishes appropriate reading interventions for students K-3 with dyslexia and reading difficulties., and then take action by letting Committee members know we need their support!

Let’s show our Representatives that this bill really matters to You and Your kids!   Please contact the following members of the House Rules Committee to respectfully request the Committee members to support SB 949 (before Monday at 2 pm):
Rep. Joe Runions – 573-751-0238; Joe.Runions@house.mo.gov
Rep. John Carpenter – 573-751-4787; Jon.Carpenter@house.mo.gov
Rep. Sarah Unsicker – 573-751-1285; Sarah.Unsicker@house.mo.gov
Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr – 573-751-2383; Bruce.Franks@house.mo.gov

Personal examples of your child’s struggles and when he or she has succeeded with the right kind of help will make your story, letter or email more compelling, but don’t make it too long.  (See sample letter below for ideas.)

Please let your representative know how crucial appropriate reading instruction is for dyslexic children and how this legislation would positively influence all children struggling with literacy in public schools.

We cannot over-emphasize how important your calls/emails will be in the forward movement of this bill and future passage.

Please take a moment today to show your support for appropriate interventions for students with dyslexia!

____________________________________________________
Sample letter:

Dear Representative __________,

I am writing today to ask for your support of SB949 that will be heard in the House Rules Committee on Monday at 2 pm.  This bill will require schools to provide the scientifically evidenced-based reading programs that help children with dyslexia learn to read.

My child has struggled…(include a short personal story).

That is why I feel that not only my child but every child who struggles with dyslexia would benefit with the passage of SB949.  I respectfully ask for your support of this bill!

Sincerely,

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.  DDMO helps secure funding for Dyslexia Specialist and Dyslexia Professional Development

Thanks to the hard work of our members, Decoding Dyslexia-MO was successful in getting a screening, professional development, and accommodations bill passed.  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.

In addition to working on this bill, DDMO members secured funding in the legislature for the Dyslexia Specialist position in the MO Dept. of Education.  Kim Stuckey was hired as MO’s Dyslexia Specialist and she has established several initiatives in her position including professional development programs and a dyslexia webpage on the MO Dept. of Education’s website (MO Dept. of Ed Dyslexia webpage).  DDMO also worked with the legislature and the Governor’s office to secure $250,000 for dyslexia professional development in MO.  A large portion of this money is being allocated to dyslexia training programs at the Regional Professional Development Centers through the State.

And NOW we are working on a bill that would create a “Reading Success Plan” (SB349) for any child reading below grade level.  The “Reading Success Plan” would require intensive instruction in methods approved by the National Reading Panel and the International Dyslexia Association.

These are tremendous steps 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.