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Aiming for Access

June Behrmann

June Behrmann is a longtime special education teacher (pre-K to grade 6) who retired for about two seconds, and is now prospecting for accessible instructional resources. Follow June on Twitter @aimnoncat. Thank you to AIM-VA: Accessible Instructional Materials for sharing this blog with us.

Banner Year for Dyslexia in 2015 Will Fuel Progress in 2016, Says Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity

January 8, 2016

2015 was a banner year for all who care about what happens to dyslexic boys, girls, men and women, according to Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity (YCDC) Co-Directors Bennett Shaywitz, MD and Sally Shaywitz, MD.

Open Doors

"Truly, the door has opened and light is beginning to come in for dyslexia," writes the YCDC team in an email. The doctors are referring to a changing landscape for dyslexics thanks to efforts from many people. These include researchers, educators, parents and legislators.

Game Changers

Their efforts resulted in "game-changing progress" across several chosen areas of focus — especially the identification and intervention for dyslexia using "21st-century scientific progress." Here are signs of progress and behavior change that are underway:

  • Increased public awareness about "Slow Readers, Fast Thinkers" 
  • Raised awareness that dyslexia follows a "Sea of Strengths" model
  • Increased recognition that dyslexia is an "unexpected difficulty in reading in individuals who have the ability to be better readers"
  • Publication of quality scientific data for identifying and intervening on behalf of dyslexic boys and girls at the beginning of their schooling 
  • State and federal legislation and policy statements from the US Department of Education that help to advance understanding

Looking Forward

Watch for "next steps" in 2016, says the YCDC team. Efforts will include:

  • Increasing public awareness of dyslexia
  • Encouraging the use of the word "dyslexia"
  • Translating the scientific knowledge of dyslexia into policy and practice
  • Encouraging the most specific and accurate diagnosis of dyslexia
  • Guiding and supporting parents, dyslexic children and educators to understand the "Sea of Strengths" model
  • Assuring that all stakeholders recognize the unexpected nature of dyslexia
  • Stemming the achievement gap that occurs by acting at the very beginning of a child’s educational career 
  • Ensuring that legislation and educational policy at the local, state and federal level align with the science of dyslexia and the needs of dyslexic children, and
  • Supporting and disseminating the scientific and ethical basis for providing accommodations to dyslexic students

For more information about accommplishments in 2015 and ongoing work, click here

Thank you to AIM-VA: Accessible Instructional Materials for sharing this blog with our Reading Rockets audience.

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"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." — Kate DiCamillo