October 23, 2015

Cassidy: OSERS Guidelines on Dyslexia is a Step in the Right Direction, But More Needs To Be Done

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. released the following statement after the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) released guidance to state and local educational agencies clarifying that students with specific learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, have unique educational needs:

“Having the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) acknowledge that students with dyslexia have unique educational needs that must be addressed is a step in the right direction, but there’s still more work to be done. It’s important for teachers and parents to be aware of the challenges facing our students, but it’s equally as important to act. Scientific data shows that we can help students with dyslexia reach their educational potential by providing them with an evidence-based curriculum. All children must have the opportunity to succeed—let’s put these successful educational models to use to help them reach their goals.”

The guidelines released today are part of OSERS effort to highlight October as the month of awareness for Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The guidelines clarify that there is nothing in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in a student’s evaluation, determination of eligibility for special education and related services, or in developing the student’s individualized education program (IEP). Read the Dear Colleague from OSERS on Dyslexia Guidance HERE.

Dr. Cassidy has consistently advocated for students with dyslexia. On October 13, he hosted two Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Hearings in Louisiana following the passage of a bipartisan resolution in the U.S. Senate designating October 2015 as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month,” recognizing that dyslexia has significant educational implications that must be addressed. He alsocriticized the PARCC Assessment tests whose standards fail to account for students with dyslexia.