October 28, 2021

Senate Passes Cassidy-Led Resolution Recognizing October 2021 as National Dyslexia Awareness Month

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) released a statement following the Senate passage of his resolution recognizing October 2021 as National Dyslexia Awareness Month.

“Dyslexia impacts one in five Americans, and we need to do everything we can so these smart children aren’t left behind and can reach their full potential,” said Dr. Cassidy. “The passage of this resolution marks our commitment to taking on the challenges of dyslexia.”

“We must continue to raise awareness about dyslexia’s effect on learners and pledge to help those it impacts so they can achieve all they are capable of,” said Senator Boozman. “My colleagues and I welcome this latest step taken by the Senate to ensure our nation helps dyslexic Americans adapt, overcome and thrive.”

“Dyslexia is a common learning disability that can pose significant challenges to students and adults,” said Senator Capito. “I’m thrilled the Senate passed our resolution, which will help us to continue raising awareness about the need for early screening, diagnosis, and evidence-based invention.”

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Angus King (I-ME), John Boozman (R-AR), and Raphael Warnock (D-GA) cosponsored the resolution.

Read the full text of 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 2021 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, the ability to learn a second language 

Whereas the First Step Act of 2018 (Public Law 115–391; 132 Stat. 5194 et seq.) included a definition of dyslexia as part of the requirement of the Act to screen inmates for dyslexia upon intake in Federal prisons; 

Whereas the definition of dyslexia in section 3635 of title 18, United States Code, as added by section 101(a) of the First Step Act of 2018, is the first and only definition of dyslexia in a Federal statute; 

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

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

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

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

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

Whereas the achievement gap between typical readers and dyslexic readers occurs as early as first grade; 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, the promotion of self-awareness and self- empowerment, and the provision of necessary accommodations that ensure success 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 2021 as ‘‘National Dyslexia Awareness Month’’.