Federal Guidance

When a condition is diagnosed there is a protocol to follow, implementation is important; that’s why we  #SayDyslexia

Cassidy Announces Dyslexia Screening Provision Included in New Criminal Justice Reform Bill

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), a member of the Senate health and education committee, today announced that his provision providing for the screening of inmates for dyslexia is included in the new version of the First Step Act(S. 3649), legislation endorsed by President Trump to reform America’s criminal justice system. Cassidy announced his support for the legislation two weeks ago.

“Having treated patients in prisons, I learned that illiteracy often leads someone to turn to a life of crime. Dyslexia is a leading cause of illiteracy, so to address illiteracy and incarceration, we must better address dyslexia,” said Dr. Cassidy. “I’m pleased Chairman Grassley, Jared Kushner and the White House agreed to incorporate my proposal for screening inmates for dyslexia into this bill. It makes sense that if someone learns to read, they’re less likely to end up in prison and more likely to be a productive member of society. And if someone ends up in prison, they’re more likely to get a job and keep it once they are released. In the end, I think this will save some people from the prison system, make our streets safer, and save taxpayers money.”

A study found that 80 percent of prison inmates at the state prison in Huntsville, Texas, were functionally illiterate and 48 percent were dyslexic.

The First Step Act will formally define dyslexia as “an unexpected difficulty in reading for an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader, most commonly caused by a difficulty in the phonological processing (the appreciation of the individual sounds of spoken language), which affects the ability of an individual to speak, read, and spell.” The bill requires the U.S. attorney general to incorporate an evidence-based, low-cost, readily available dyslexia screening program into the new risk and needs assessment system, including by screening for dyslexia during the prisoner intake process and each periodic risk reassessment of a prisoner. It also requires the U.S. attorney general to incorporate dyslexia treatment programs into recidivism reduction programs.

In October, Cassidy and his wife, Dr. Laura Cassidy, coauthored an column about their family’s personal struggle to overcome dyslexia.

In June, Cassidy met with Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushnerabout prison reform, and Cassidy stressed the need to identify and address dyslexia in early education in order to prevent students from being consigned to a path of illiteracy, crime, and incarceration.

In May 2016, Cassidy chaired a HELP Committee hearing on understanding dyslexia. The hearing featured actor Ameer Baraka, a New Orleans native who struggled with dyslexia as a student and turned to selling drugs. Barak discussed how he taught himself to read in prison on Fox News in April 2017.

In February 2016, Cassidy’s READ Act was signed into law by President Obama. The legislation requires the National Science Foundation (NSF) to devote at least $2.5 million to dyslexia research every year.

In 2015, Cassidy hosted world experts on dyslexia for a discussion at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, and chaired HELP Committee field hearings on dyslexia and education in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Each year, Cassidy introduces a resolution in the Senate designating October as National Dyslexia Awareness Month.

The hotly debated topic of Literacy was discussed on December 17, 2018, on Understood by Lindsay Jones JD CEO NCLD National Center Learning Disabilities. Referencing Phonics VS WHole Language with Dyslexic students.

BRING THIS LETTER TO YOUR SCHOOL SHARE THE FEDERAL GUIDANCE STATING IT IS OKAY TO “SAY DYSLEXIA”:                          U.S. Department of Education issued guidance on October 23, 2015, wherein it clarifies that “that there is nothing in the IDEA that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in IDEA evaluation, eligibility determinations, or IEP documents.”  Find full guidance document HERE.

NO child should be denied or delayed evaluation if a learning difference is suspected see the guidance letter from 2011 here:


Wisconsin has two members of Congress serving on the Bipartisan Dyslexia Caucus,  Congressmen Mark Pocan Congressional District 2 and Mike Gallagher  Congressional District 8.



President Obama, on February 18, 2016, signed  HR 3033, the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia (READ) Act! This act supports important research to further our understanding of dyslexia, including better methods for early detection and teacher training. See text HERE.

September 26th and 27th 2017 the STEM Education, Learning Disabilities and the science of Dyslexia Instructional research group presented its findings from the first year of funded research. The link to the presentations is found here there are many videotaped lectures, power points and documents all presented in easy to understand terms: https://www.inresg.org/stemld 

Learn more about the cutting edge research to be implemented/applied by schools. Reading is essential to success.

September 2014

Panel testifies on Dyslexia with members of Congress:

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination”  

Albert Einstein  Theoretical Physicist, Nobel Prize Winner, Teacher, and Dyslexic.

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