Policy Goals

Mission Statement:

We aim to raise dyslexia awareness, empower families to support their children and inform policy-makers on best practices to identify, remediate and support students with dyslexia in TN public schools.

Specific policy goals include:

* Establish a universal definition and understanding of “dyslexia” in the state education code so that teachers and administrators can Identify, Educate and Support students with dyslexia.

* Require Tennessee teacher certification and ongoing training on dyslexia and appropriate intervention strategies

* Require early screening to IDENTIFY students who struggle with reading disorders like dyslexia.

* Require dyslexia remediation & intervention programs that are proven to EDUCATE children with dyslexia or other reading disabilities, and that can be accessed by both general and special education populations. These programs must include structured, explicit, systematic, cumulative instruction designed to promote understanding, memory, recall, and use of spoken and written language. They must also have multiple components that focus on areas of instruction such as phonological skills, phonics and word analysis, spelling, word recognition and oral reading fluency, grammar and syntax, text comprehension, writing, and study skills.

* Ensure access to appropriate accommodations including “assistive technologies” in the public school setting to SUPPORT students with dyslexia

2 thoughts on “Policy Goals

  1. Has any of this been accomplished? Our daughter has been struggling the last two years in school (she is in first grade). We had intervention started at the beginning of kindergarten and it continued this year. It has taken 8 months for the school psychologist to actually test her and allow her intervention to be changed since there had been little progress. We eventually had her tested independently because of the delays at the school. Our Neuro psychologist examined in detail her disabilities and that she is dyslexic, yet the school says they still cannot recognize that as a disability. She qualified for an IEP through the speech pathologist. We are moving her to a private school for dyslexia next year, but she will return to public school in a couple of years and I’m concerned we will have to go through the entire process again with the public school.

    1. Hello Angie,

      Yes, we helped pass a Tennessee dyslexia law last year which defines dyslexia, requires teacher training, and requires universities to prove they offer dyslexia courses to new teachers. You can see the law under “Tennessee Dyslexia Law” on this webpage. Just as with federal law, sadly, we parents have to make sure schools are aware of these laws because many are not, and that is a pure travesty. We are currently working on raising awareness as that’s the next step and is key. When your school told you they “cannot recognize dyslexia as a disability”, that is actually not in line with federal IDEA law as dyslexia is listed – so we didn’t even need a Tennessee law for that. We highly recommend printing both the TN law and Federal IDEA law (the part listing the categories, and highlight dyslexia under SLD) to take to school meetings. Yes, it’s a shame we have to do that, but we have found we do have to do that for most schools. Please, check out the section listed “public schools” on this website, and also join us on facebook in the group Chat Group: Decoding Dyslexia-TN

      I am also the public school mother of dyslexic children. It’s not perfect, by far, but we continue to fight. We hope to provide you with the tools you need to fight as well.

      Thank you for writing,
      Jules

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