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Effective Education is the Root of Equity


Why Students Struggle to Write
& What to Do About It
An Evening with Joan Green & Cheryl Bregman

Watch the video by clicking on the link below!

Reading ability is key to a good education, and much attention is paid to the timely development of students' reading skills. But what about handwriting and writing skills generally? How can we improve students' written expression? And when should we be concerned about a written language disability? Cheryl Bregman, OT and founder of Handwriting Heroes, will discuss the various forms of dysgraphia and their impact on academic performance as well as effective treatment strategies and practical adaptations for educational settings. She will also highlight key compensatory strategies to support students with dysgraphia. Speech-Language Pathologist and Assistive Technology Specialist, Joan Green will highlight amazing apps and features that are available on the devices we already use to support literacy and learning.  Additionally, she will highlight 10 Tech Tips you need to know to support access, engagement, and demonstration of knowledge. Just one or two changes may change the trajectory of success!

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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:

(202) 724-8032


Brianne Nadeau, Ward 1:

(202) 724-8181



Brooke Pinto, Ward 2:

(202) 724-8058



Matthew Frumin, Ward 3:

(202) 724-8062



Janeese Lewis-George, Ward 4:

(202) 724-8052



Zachary Parker, Ward 5:

(202) 724-8028



Charles Allen, Ward 6:

(202) 724-8072



Vincent Gray, Ward 7:

(202) 724-8068



Trayon White, Ward 8:

(202) 724-8045



Anita Bonds, At Large:

(202) 724-8064



Christina Henderson, At Large:

(202) 724-8105



Kenyan R. McDuffie, At Large:

(202) 724-7772



Robert White, At Large:

(202) 724-8174


Decoding Dyslexia DC
and the
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"
-Samantha Coppola


THANK YOU, EdReformNow for choosing
Decoding Dyslexia DC as a recipient of EdReformNow's Inaugural

Equity Champion Award
for our literacy work and our contribution to the collective pursuit of equity in DC.

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The Dyslexia Bill is Law! 

Read the legislation here:

Bill Highlights:

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.

   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

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.

Home: Welcome

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.

      Inform and Motivate Policy Makers

Our task is to educate policy-makers that it is in everyone's best interest that all students in the District of Columbia read proficiently.  

Home: Inventory

Please take our Parent Survey

Home: Text
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