New Dyslexia Advocacy from Sen. Bill Cassidy

As Dr. Shaywitz emphasizes, while we always seek more knowledge, we already have sufficient knowledge to do better; rather than a knowledge gap we have an action gap that we must close. There is an important effort underway to increase the dissemination of the wonderful scientific advances in screening and intervention. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), a physician and father of a dyslexic daughter is particularly dedicated to this mission and strongly supported legislation to establish a center to disseminate cutting edge knowledge of 21st century scientifically-supported approaches to screening and other educational processes. The goal is to both improve federal dyslexia policy and to increase public understanding and access to these evidence-based approaches.

Senator Cassidy, a longtime champion for people with dyslexia and their families, has written a powerful letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos expressing his strong concerns over the work of the National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL).  NCIL was established in part to conduct a thorough review of the available literature and recommend ways to improve early dyslexia identification, but their work to date appears to have been deeply flawed.  Senator Cassidy states in his letter that in his view, “NCIL does not have the expertise or interest in properly identifying or screening for dyslexia.”  Many who care deeply about dyslexia are extremely grateful for Senator Cassidy’s continued work on behalf of thoughtful, scientifically sound dyslexia policy.

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