FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rebecca Worth Warner
Decoding Dyslexia VA Co- Founder
Decoding Dyslexia VA to Raise Awareness and Concerns
At the Capital on Feb. 4, 2014
Richmond, VA – Jan. 14, 2014 – Decoding Dyslexia VA, with the support of Delegate Kaye Kory, 38th district, will be hosting a Dyslexia Awareness Day at the state capital on Feb. 4, 2014.
In addition to the House, Senator Jill Vogel, District 37, has offered continued support and guidance for the parent run group.
The event is open to the public and is expected to draw a large contingency of passionate parents and specialists. DDVA encourages families, educators and policy makers to attend to learn more about dyslexia, the impact on our children and on Virginia’s schools. More importantly learn about solutions that 30 years of research has provided to address this valued community that has long been misunderstood.
The Dyslexic community is estimated at 1 in 5, easily 20% of Virginia’s population. The consequences of ignoring the needs of this community will have an escalating impact on the state’s literacy rate, drop-rate and workforce. Sadly each one of these directly correlates to our incarceration rates.
Reading Difficulties, Including Dyslexia, Are Very Common*
Reading difficulties are the most common cause of academic failure and underachievement. Learning to read and write is not natural or easy for many—if not most—students, especially those with dyslexia and related language problems. The National Assessment of Educational Progress consistently finds that about 36% of all fourth graders read at a level described as “below basic.”
Between 15 and 20% of young students are doomed to academic failure because of reading and language processing weaknesses, unless those weaknesses are recognized early and treated skillfully. Another 20–30% is at risk for inadequate reading and writing development, depending on how—and how well—they are taught. Most of these at‐risk students are ineligible for special education services and are dependent on the instruction given in the regular classroom or other supplementary services.
However, of those students who are referred to special education services in public schools, approximately 85% are having severe difficulties with language, reading, and writing. Clearly, responsibility for teaching reading and writing must be shared by classroom teachers, reading specialists, and special education personnel.
There is known research-based instruction that can successfully lessen the impact of dyslexia and help students to overcome its more debilitating symptoms. Analyses of teacher licensing tests show that typically, very few are aligned with current research on effective instruction for students at risk.
Decoding Dyslexia is a parent-based grassroots movement which started two years ago in New Jersey, and has spread rapidly to include 44 of the 50 U.S. states. Virginia’s chapter was founded a little over a year ago. The group’s primary objectives are to see the state implement:
- Increase awareness among educators and families with regard to warning signs
- Teacher/staff training on dyslexia, its warning signs and appropriate intervention strategies
- Early screening tests for dyslexia to include parental notification
- Evidenced-based dyslexia remediation programs implemented with fidelity which can be accessed by both general and special education populations
- Access to appropriate “assistive technologies” in the public school setting for students with dyslexia
Dyslexia affects up to 1 in 5 people, but the experience of dyslexia isn’t always the same. This difficulty in processing language exists along a spectrum — one that doesn’t necessarily fit with labels like “normal” and “defective.” Kelli Sandman-Hurley, Ed. D., urges us to think again about dyslexic brain function and to celebrate the neurodiversity of the human brain.
See Kelli Sandman-Hurley’s TED-Ed Original featuring her words and ideas brought to life by professional animators: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-is-dyslexia-kelli-sandman-hurley
*The International Dyslexia Association, Promoting Literacy Through Research Education and Advocacy (www.interdys.org )
**Ted Ed Lessons Worth Sharing: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-is-dyslexia-kelli-sandman-hurley