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A.8262/ S.6581 is now before the Governor and needs his signature to become law! Please help us get this bill approved.  This bill will help improve understanding of dyslexia by providing accurate guidance to school districts and assist schools in targeting language-based interventions, helping more children learn to read and become successful students.

We as educators, supporters and/or parents of children who are affected with dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia urge you to approve the above bill.  Over the years, our organization, LD Resources Foundation has been committed to helping students and all individuals with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, ADHD, etc., overcome the barriers they face on a daily basis, by providing invaluable knowledge, tools and resources. For many years, we have had a successful collaboration with the Churchill School of New York City by educating the staff in the use of Assistive Technology software. This technology has greatly enhanced the learning experience of students challenged by learning disabilities, but has been especially helpful for those students with Dyslexia. Approximately 15-20% of people have a learning disability and 85% of children with learning disabilities have dyslexia, making it the most prevalent learning disability in children.

Over the years, our organization, LD Resources Foundation has been committed to helping students and all individuals with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, ADHD, etc., overcome the barriers they face on a daily basis, by providing invaluable knowledge, tools and resources. For many years, we have had a successful collaboration with the Churchill School of New York City by educating the staff in the use of Assistive Technology software. This technology has greatly enhanced the learning experience of students challenged by learning disabilities, but has been especially helpful for those students with Dyslexia. Approximately 15-20% of people have a learning disability and 85% of children with learning disabilities have dyslexia, making it the most prevalent learning disability in children.

The Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Victor Calise met with LD Resources Foundation on 1/6/17.  The focus of that meeting was how to raise awareness of the benefits of Assistive Technology.  We needed to make educators, parents and the general public more aware of how Assistive Technology can help those students with Dyslexia etc. improve their learning experience.  In addition, we advocated for earlier intervention from our educational systems allowing those children with dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia to receive the proper assistance in furthering their learning skills. Brain studies demonstrate clearly dyslexia’s neurobiological origins and therefore early intervention by properly trained educators is of the upmost importance.

With the above in mind, one of the additional objectives we hoped to achieve in our meeting with Commissioner Calise, was to gain his support for Jo Anne Simon’s Dyslexia legislation, Bills A4330-A and S.5439. This bill would provide the following: training to properly assist teachers in the identification of the above conditions by assuring that teachers would receive the necessary tutelage in the use of appropriate research-validated methods of teaching reading and the implementation of such approaches, so that these children could become proficient readers and not fall behind their peers. Among other things, this bill (A-4330A) would require that once so identified, schools must specifically use the term dyslexia in the Individualized Education Plans ( IEPs ) of such children, not the broader term of “learning disability.”  For decades, school districts believed that schools were not allowed to use the word “dyslexia” in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), but could use only the broad classification “Learning Disability” from the federal Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA).  This needs to change for the sake of our children.

A.8262/S.6581 which is before you for approval, would direct the Commissioner of    Education  to issue a guidance memorandum to school districts and BOCES to inform them of the unique educational needs of students with dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. This critical legislation was passed unanimously by the New York State Legislature. On behalf of the LD Resources Foundation and the students that we have helped in the past, and hope to help in the future, we strongly urge you to sign this bill into law.

While the U.S. Department of Education has issued regulatory guidance clarifying the ability to use the term “Dyslexia”, there still exits an area of confusion.

This legislation will lead to improved understanding of dyslexia because it will provide accurate guidance to school districts and assist schools in targeting language-based interventions, helping more children learn to read and become successful students.  For far too long, there has been inadequate attention to dyslexia. This bill instructs the State Department of Education to develop a guidance memorandum for schools consistent with the federal requirements and inform schools that they may include the names of specific learning disorders, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia or dyscalculia in IEPs.

When children’s learning needs are properly identified, educators will be in a better position to teach them. We ask that you place your signature on this bill A.8262 / S.6581.

By: LD Resources Foundation Action


How you can help

 

dyslexia-bill-jo-anne

Message from Jo Anne Simon

Dear Friends,

A.8262/ S.6581 is now before the Governor and needs his signature to become law! He has until Monday, August 21, 2017 to sign (or veto) the bill.

Will you please take a moment to join me and express your support for this critical bill? Please email the Governor here or mail him a letter in support of the dyslexia bill.

If possible, please send me your letter by Wednesday, August 16, 2017 and I will include your letter in the package that I am sending to the Governor. Below is a sample letter which you can use to get started – please edit this as you see fit. Add your personal story and explain why this bill is important to you!

Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Best,

Jo Anne Simon


SAMPLE LETTER

[insert organizational letterhead, if appropriate]

August 11, 2017

Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
New York State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Re:       Guidance memorandum on dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia;

A8262 Simon / S6581 Golden

Dear Governor Cuomo:

A.8262/S.6581 which is before you for approval, would direct the commissioner of education to issue a guidance memorandum to school districts and BOCES to inform them of the unique educational needs of students with dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. This critical legislation was passed unanimously by the New York State Legislature. On behalf of the [your org] and the [who you represent – kids, families, etc.], we strongly urge you to sign this bill into law.

[Insert: organizational affiliation: what you do, who you serve, org history; and/or personal background/story on this issue; or anything else about dyslexia that you want to share]

Approximately 15-20% of people have a learning disability and 85% of children with learning disabilities have dyslexia, making it the most prevalent learning disability in children. Nevertheless, most parents and teachers have trouble recognizing its symptoms, and children’s struggles often go unaddressed. Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition, so students decode incorrectly and/or very slowly and with great effort. Folks with dyslexia have difficulty connecting the letters to the sounds they make and have trouble recognizing words – even those they have seen frequently – making them slow and inaccurate readers. Brain studies demonstrate clearly its neurobiological origins.

For decades, school districts believed that schools were not allowed to use the word “dyslexia” in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), but could use only the broad classification “Learning Disability” from the federal Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA). However, federal regulations contained no such restriction and no similar restriction existed in connection with other IDEA disability classifications; schools freely named specific visual or mobility impairments, such as macular degeneration, or muscular dystrophy, or cerebral palsy. While the U.S. Department of Education has issued regulatory guidance clarifying the ability to use this term, this has still been an area of confusion.

This legislation will lead to improved understanding of dyslexia because it will provide accurate guidance to school districts and assist schools in targeting language-based interventions, helping more children learn to read and become successful students.  For far too long, there has been inadequate attention to dyslexia. This bill instructs the State Department of Education to develop a guidance memorandum for schools consistent with the federal requirements and inform schools that they may include the names of specific learning disorders, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia or dyscalculia in IEPs.

When children’s learning needs are properly identified, educators will be in a better position to teach them. We ask that you place your signature on this bill A.8262 / S.6581.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]