February 4, 2016

Cassidy Applauds Passage of Dyslexia Bill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) joined House of Representatives Dyslexia Caucus members, Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Julia Brownley (D-CA), to applaud the passage of the READ Act. This bipartisan bill to prioritize dyslexia research is on its way to the president’s desk for signature.

“Every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential. Unfortunately, many children who have dyslexia are never properly diagnosed and their school performance suffers through no fault of their own. This bill would make dyslexia research and diagnosis a priority and give our children the tools they need to excel. When we invest in dyslexia research, we invest in our next generation of doctors, teachers, writers and engineers,” said Dr. Cassidy.

 “Today we can help millions of Americans have a brighter and more prosperous future. 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 Rep. Smith.

“I am proud to be the co-Chair of the Congressional Dyslexia Caucus, where I can help individuals like my daughter who live with dyslexia. I am pleased that the READ Act has passed the House. The resounding bipartisan support for the bill demonstrates how many Americans are impacted by dyslexia, and underscores the need for more research and better evidence-based interventions for students with dyslexia. I thank the members of the Science Committee and Chairman Smith for their leadership on this important issue,” said Rep. Brownley.

 The READ Act requires the president’s annual budget request to Congress to include the Research in Disabilities Education program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). As amended, the bill requires the NSF to devote at least $2.5 million annually to dyslexia research, which would focus on best practices in the following areas:

•Early identification of children and students with dyslexia 

•Professional development about dyslexia for teachers and administrators

•Curricula development and evidence-based educational tools for children with dyslexia

The READ Act authorizes dyslexia research projects using funds appropriated for the National Science Foundation. The bill would also authorize $2.5 million for research focused on other learning disabilities, including those which are also associated with dyslexia.

 Dr. Cassidy is the founding member and former co-chairman of the Dyslexia Caucus and has been a longtime advocate for dyslexia research.