Effective Education is the Root of Equity
Thank You, Chairman Mendelson & Council!
Please write to Chairman Mendelson, your Ward Council member, and staff to express your gratitude for passing and fully funding this important new law. The children of the District have a right to read and they are counting on us.
Chairman Phil Mendelson:
Brianne Nadeau, Ward 1:
Brooke Pinto, Ward 2:
Mary Cheh, Ward 3:
Janeese Lewis-George, Ward 4:
Kenyan McDuffie Ward 5:
Charles Allen, Ward 6:
Vincent Gray, Ward 7:
Trayon White, Ward 8:
Anita Bonds, At Large:
Christina Henderson, At Large:
Elissa Silverman, At Large:
Robert White, At Large:
Decoding Dyslexia DC
DC Office of the
Student Advocate (OSA)
have published a
Guide For Struggling Readers & Spellers in DC.
Check it out!
Watch this TEDx Talk
"Dyslexia and Privilege"
Background on Reading in DC:
In 2019, only 30% of DC 4th grade students were reading at or above a proficient level.
In 2019, only 5% of DC special education students were proficient on the PARCC exam
Research indicates 85-90% of students with disabilities can perform at grade level when given appropriate support
Research shows intensive reading intervention in K/1st Grade is most effective, but OSSE data show that DC students are largely identified as having a specific learning disability often many years later
DCPS started a Dyslexia task force in January, 2020
1,483 DCPS teachers attended a one-hour “Science of Reading” Professional Development (PD) event in June, 2020
599 DCPS teachers attended a three-hour dyslexia PD in June
While DCPS has science-based reading programs such as Wilson Fundations and Heggerty Phonemic Awareness, not all schools use them for initial instruction, and not all teachers have extensive training in them. Some DCPS schools use programs based on “cueing” or guessing techniques such as Reading Recovery
Most teacher education programs provide little, if any, training on identifying and supporting students with dyslexia
While schools may use screeners like DIBELS, many teachers have not received adequate training on data interpretation and how scores can be used to guide decision-making regarding teaching struggling readers
Although many teachers have had little or no training in the nature and manifestations of dyslexia, dyslexia is not rare and represents 80-90 percent of all those with learning disabilities
Children with dyslexia who are not identified or remediated have higher rates of dropout, unemployment, anxiety, and depression
A study estimates that approximately percent of prison inmates have dyslexia.
October is Dyslexia Awareness Month
Decoding Dyslexia DC Statement Regarding Dyslexia and Reading Difficulties in the Black Community
Because Decoding Dyslexia DC believes the right to read is one of the most important civil rights issues of our time.
Because Black students with dyslexia and reading difficulties are disproportionately unidentified or misidentified.
Because Black students are consistently given little to no access to appropriate structured literacy approaches by schools.
Because, false narratives about Black parents such as lack of involvement, care, or concern are perpetuated, and delay, interfere, and block access to appropriate reading instruction for Black students.
Because, Black students not only have to overcome the effects of dyslexia and other reading difficulties but also all forms of racism, including implicit bias, educational bias, institutional bias, and systematic bias.
We pledge to authentically support, raise awareness of, advocate on behalf of, and hold accountable the systems that overlook the needs of Black students.
We pledge to be conscious and intentional in our messaging, campaigns, imagery, advocacy, support, and partnerships to ensure that Black students and families are represented.
We understand the growth and change we need to make, and we stand
in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
-Adapted from: Decoding Dyslexia BLM Workgroup Statement (6-14-20)
See these informative videos from past meetings
Jamie Martin, Assistive Technology (AT) Specialist at the New England Assistive Technology Center in Hartford, CT, discusses different types of technology helpful for struggling readers
Watch the video HERE
Frances Shefter, Esq., discusses how to secure an effective
IEP for your child.
Pediatric Neuropsychologist, Elliot Blumenstein, PsyD, discusses
ways to address learning loss and the emotional consequences
of the COVID pandemic.
The Dyslexia Bill is Law!
Read the legislation here:
2022-2023 Provide professional development on Science of Reading (required for all K-2 teachers) and Dyslexia Awareness Training (for all K-12 Public and Charter school teachers citywide); Provide guidance on Reading screeners
2023-2024 Implement new screening protocols in all K-2 DCPS and Charter schools; Provide interventions based on the science of reading to at-risk students; Provide written notification of results to parent/guardian and meet to discuss subsequent plans for student support; DCPS and Charter Schools to report annually to OSSE indicating they have complied with the law.
2024-2025 Each DCPS and Charter School will adopt a core reading curriculum based on the science of reading.
Decoding Dyslexia - Washington, DC Welcomes You
Decoding Dyslexia - DC is a grassroots movement driven by DC families concerned about the limited access to educational interventions for students with dyslexia and other reading difficulties within our schools. We aim to raise awareness and empower families to support their children. We also want to inform policy-makers on best practices for screening, identifying, remediating, and supporting students with dyslexia and reading difficulties in DC.
Reading is a fundamental civil right, but the status quo is not working for the vast majority of DC's school children. They should have access to effective reading and spelling instruction, and it's up to all of us to make this happen.
Raise Dyslexia Awareness
There are so many ways we can raise awareness -- from small steps to giant leaps… Let’s start now!
Empower Families to Support Children
Children deserve their civil right to read, and families need to know how to advocate for their children.
Information is power.