In a historic move, the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services has issued guidance to states and schools on learning disabilities, specifically dyslexia. This was in response to the concerns of parents from across the United States that the word “dyslexia” is not being allowed into the IEP process.
A coalition of disability groups sent a request to asking for guidance to be issued on the subject. Several members of Congress sent a similar request. Other organizations, including National Association of School Psychologists, issued a letter of caution in rebuttal.
We hear stories from Oregon parents that they told by school personnel that dyslexia is “not recognized by school districts,” “is just an umbrella term,” “does not exist,” “is a medical issue,” or “is not something schools are required to diagnose or address.” As parents, we believe use of the word “dyslexia” in public schools helps steer discussions toward timely identification of our children, as well as toward appropriate interventions and accommodations. For those reasons, Decoding Dyslexia groups in every state in the country recently sent a joint letter asking the U.S. Department of Education to clarify that the word “dyslexia” may be used in IEP meetings and related documents.
In addition, Decoding Dyslexia launched a #saydyslexia campaign raise awareness and start conversations to about the importance of using the term “dyslexia”.
Feel free to share the US DOE letter with your IEP team or school!