Decoding Dyslexia VA

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AIM VA and Decoding Dyslexia VA

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Seen above from left to right. Ian Moore, AIM VA trainer; Shannon Duncan, DDVA Parent; Joyce Sharp, AIM VA trainer

 

 

We here at DDVA believe that getting a child and parents to the appropriate resources and information as fast as possible along their journey helps both the parents and the child.  What we are so excited about sharing with you here is that this resource and opportunity will help families of children with dyslexia served by IEP’s in VA AND help schools and faculty where training and information may also be diffucult to locate on AIM VA, Accessible Instructional Material in VA.

If you are not familiar with AIM VA, here is a link and a quick overview:  http://kihd.gmu.edu/aim/about-us/
AIM-VA provides accessible instructional materials at no cost to Virginia K-12 students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP). Accessible instructional materials are alternative print materials, (e.g., Braille, electronic files, etc.) that can be delivered to and used by students who are not able to use traditional print formats. AIM-VA staff provide teachers with training and technical assistance on how to select and use accessible instructional materials with students.

AIM VA recently reached out and asked if we could help connect their trainers with VA families and educators. They will come out and train at Parent Resources Centers, SEAC meetings, PTA hosted events, Parent coffees, faculty meetings and just about anywhere there might be a need.

Here is a list of topics too!

AIM-VA Training Topics are below.

General Overview: What is AIM? What do we provide? (new users)
Features (accessibility of formats)
Laws, rules, and regulations
AIM updates (existing users)
Site navigation/use/features
Portal navigation/use/features
Use of Partner Sites (Learning Ally and Bookshare)
Use of assistive technology programs (DJ R:OL and Read Hear)
Administrative roles and responsibilities as they relate to AIM-VA
AIMVA seminar (guided by user questions)

We would like to say thank you and DDVA is super excited to be part of this conversation with AIM VA!

Please feel free to contact the awesome folks below with questions or ideas.  It would be wonderful to spread the word about AIM VA and get more children to the assistive technology they need.

Ian Moore, AIM VA Trainer
Joyce Sharp, AIM VA Trainer
Stacey Schwartz, AIM VA Trainer

For Immediate Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rebecca Worth Warner

Decoding Dyslexia VA Co- Founder

Richmond, VA

rebecca@dysva.org

 

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

 

About 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

A Parent Center Visit

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This past Friday Decoding Dyslexia Virginia had the opportunity to sit down with Gail Holloman of the FCPS Parent Resource Center  (PRC).  We are excited to share that DDVA information will now be displayed in their Community  Services Room as well as when they host dyslexia/reading workshops. Look for their next dyslexia workshop in late October.
We also learned that FCPS PRC archives past workshops and make them available on their website for families to view.  Families are also welcome to visit their library, and check out materials.  They have made returning them even easier, families are welcome to drop them back off at their home school or stop back by the PRC. The staff was very helpful, and if you are a Fairfax family in need of resources this is a great place to start.  For more information and contact information please visit:  http://www.fcps.edu/cco/prc/ and watch their video here:  http://dl.ebmcdn.net/fcps/mp4/insight/2013/is06_parentresourcectr.mp4FCPS Parent Resource Center
Save the date for the FCPS Special Education Conference to be held on Saturday, March 1st  20014 at Woodson High School in Fairfax. Over 1800 in attendance last year.
For those Virginia families who do not live in Fairfax County, please check your county’s website for your local Parent Resource Centers.  We did a quick search and found a few.
Loudoun County PRC – http://www.lcps.org/prc
One final resource that can point you in the right direction if you are having trouble locating your local Parent Resource Center.  Check out the Virginia Family special Education Connection here: http://vafamilysped.org/spcial_ed_contacts
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