H.Res. 456: “Calling on schools and State and local educational agencies to recognize that dyslexia has significant educational implications”

This weekend I took the time to begin discussing disability advocacy.  What does it mean? Why is it important? How do we address it?

It was my pleasure to discover that Congressman Bill Cassidy and Congresswoman Julia Brownley have written a resolution calling for the House to acknowledge that impact of dyslexia on students. Decoding Dyslexia- Co said that Congressman Cassidy said that

“the resolution is designed to urge schools and educational institutions to address the impact of (dyslexia) on students”  

In another quote posted by Decoding Dyslexia – CO, Congressman Cassidy says:

“Dyslexia affects millions of Americans, including many students. We know that many with dyslexia are among our brightest and most successful. If dyslexia is identified in elementary school and the appropriate resources are given to these children, America can produce more teachers, more scientists and more entrepreneurs. This resolution pushes schools and educational agencies to address this challenge and provide evidence-based solutions for dyslexic students.”

This bill currently only has a 2% chance of passing, but this is low because people do not know about it.  It is up to us as citizens and especially those of us who deal with the impact of dyslexia to encourage our Congressmen and Congresswomen to join the Bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucasus.

Why is this important?

According to Dyslexia World:

A person suffering from dyslexia disorder experiences difficulty reading, writing, with letters, words, and numbers, as well as reversing letters and words. It is estimated that 10 to 15% of the children suffer from Dyslexia.”

But from personal experience, I understand that dyslexia is a life-long condition. It has taken me years to learn to learn and to teach my children to learn.  My hope, my call to my elected officials and to the rest of the United States is that you do not allow another student to struggle as hard as I did – as my children have/are.

If I could sit down with these men and women today – I would walk them through what it felt like to copy a text book cover to cover, to read – reread and reread information hoping to make it stick, to feel what it is like to confuse what is written and what is said – to have the thoughts get stuck, to feel stupid when you know your not and to wonder where on earth the information went that you spent so much time trying to remember.

If I could share a lunch with them, I would ask, if they understood that I have no desire to take something from another student in my quest to give students the same opportunity to learn.

I ask you now to reach out and write letters and ask your Congressmen and Congresswomen to stand up for these children and adults.

I will be posting this letter on all of my social media outlets and I ask you to consider posting it too.  Better yet, write your own and share it.  My voice is not the only voice that needs to be heard.

Special Thanks to:

Decoding Dyslexia – CO (https://www.facebook.com/DecodingDyslexiaCo)

Congressman Bill Cassidy (https://www.facebook.com/billcassidy)

Congresswoman Julia Brownley (https://www.facebook.com/RepJuliaBrownley)

May we continue the effort to build awareness!

Until Next Time,

Dr. Richmond


2 comments on “H.Res. 456: “Calling on schools and State and local educational agencies to recognize that dyslexia has significant educational implications”

  1. Erica Cook says:

    I appreciate your help, but as an adult dyslexic can you please rephrase the line, “Suffer from dyslexia”? It is not the dyslexia that we suffer from, it is the ignorance of other people. We live with the conditions we have, they are as much a part of who we are as our race, or our height. If we were given the help we needed when we needed it there would be no suffering associated with it.

    • Erica,

      I do appreciate your support. I respect that you feel the way that you do. However, as an adult, I separate the conflicts that caused me to feel like I “suffered” from the misinformation that seeps through society about dyslexia. I cannot and do not blame others for how I felt before I knew what was wrong with me and before society understood ways to truly identify it. My suffering was not solely at the ignorance of other people – though there was some of that. I cannot change the way I felt and I stand by what I said. I also don’t find shame in the term “suffer”. You addressed height and weight and the fact that I live with those things and that is right. But I have suffered as a black person in a different way then I suffered from dyslexia. My suffering as a woman was vastly different then my experience with being black and being dyslexic. Suffering is not all I experienced as a black person, a woman or a dyslexic, but it is part of it. So, I hope we can agree to disagree. I do not expect you to accept my terminology or feeling on this and I can respect that you are bothered by the use of that term.

      As I said before, my voice is NOT the only voice that should be heard, so I encourage you to share your voice about this and even your feelings about terms like “suffer with dyslexia”. The more people speak up the better.

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