October 5, 2017

Cassidy, Murphy: National Dyslexia Awareness Month Resolution Passes Senate

Today, US Senators Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) and Christopher Murphy (D-CT) released statements commending the Senate for passing S.Res.284, which designates October 2017 as National Dyslexia Awareness Month. The goal of this resolution is to further educate Congress, schools and state and local education agencies on the unique challenges students with dyslexia face.

“One in five Americans has dyslexia. By increasing awareness we can help ensure those students receive the evidence based instruction and resources they need to succeed,” said Dr. Cassidy

“I hear all the time from parents in Connecticut who are struggling to get their kids with dyslexia the attention and special instruction they need,” said Murphy. “These parents often have to fight hard and long before they finally get hold of the proper resources. We need to do better for these families. I’m confident our resolution will help raise awareness about what needs to be done.”

US Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Angus King (I-ME) and John Boozman (R-AR) are also original cosponsors of this resolution.

Presidential Statement

Earlier this week, President Trump released a statement on Dyslexia Awareness Month. You can read that message here.

Read the resolution here or below:

Calling on Congress, schools, and State and local educational agencies to recognize the significant educational implications of dyslexia that must be addressed and designating

October 2017 as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month”.

Whereas dyslexia is—

(1) defined as an unexpected difficulty in reading for an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader; and

(2) most commonly caused by a difficulty in phonological processing (the appreciation of the individual sounds of spoken language), which affects the ability of an individual to speak, read, spell, and often, learn a second language;

Whereas dyslexia is the most common learning disability and affects 80 percent to 90 percent of all individuals with a learning disability;

Whereas dyslexia is persistent and highly prevalent, affecting as many as 1 out of 5 individuals;

Whereas dyslexia is a paradox in that an individual with dyslexia may have both —

(1) weaknesses in decoding that result in difficulties in accurate or fluent word recognition; and

(2) strengths in higher-level cognitive functions, such as reasoning, critical thinking, concept formation, or problem solving;

Whereas great progress has been made in understanding dyslexia on a scientific level, including the epidemiology and cognitive and neurobiological bases of dyslexia; and

Whereas early screening for and early diagnosis of dyslexia are critical for ensuring that individuals with dyslexia receive focused, evidence-based intervention that leads to fluent reading, promotion of self-awareness and self-empowerment and the provision of necessary accommodations that ensure in school and in life: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) calls on Congress, schools, and State and local educational agencies to recognize that dyslexia has significant educational implications that must be addressed; and

(2) designates October 2017 as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month”.