US President Obama has signed into law a bipartisan measure that directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to set aside at least $2.5 million in its annual budget for dyslexia research, with a focus on early identification of children and students, professional development for teachers and administrators, and curricula development and evidence-based educational tools
According to the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act (H.R. 3033), or READ Act, as many as 8.5 million American school children may have dyslexia.
Despite the prevalence of dyslexia, many Americans remain undiagnosed, untreated and silently struggle at school or work. We need to enable those with dyslexia to achieve their maximum potential. I am glad that the House and Senate were able to work together and send the president a good bipartisan bill to help accomplish this goal.
said Lamar Smith, US Representative for Texas’s 21st congressional district, who introduced the READ Act last July with Julia Brownley, US Representative for California’s 26th congressional district.
Smith and Brownley are co-chairs of the Congressional Dyslexia Caucus, which is dedicated to increasing public awareness of dyslexia.
Dr. Fernette Eide, Co-Founder of Dyslexic Advantage described the passing of the Act as a ‘game changer’.
It’s just a first step, but a huge turn in the right direction to help the 8.5 million children in the public school system with dyslexia receive an appropriate education. Although one in six children are dyslexic, very few are identified in school, and teachers have not been adequately prepared to educate them in the ways they learn best. This law is important to the dyslexic community because we know how often these students have gotten left behind, and a grassroots movement of dyslexic parents, students, teachers, and professionals is finally finding their voice.
Under the new law, NSF will be required to begin its dyslexia research the fiscal year starting October 1, 2016. The READ Act will cease to have effect on September 30, 2021.