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Decoding Dyslexia - NY

Advocate. Educate. Legislate.

Legislation and awareness

 A universal definition and understanding of Dyslexia
in the State Education Code

 Teacher training on Dyslexia, its warning signs and

appropriate intervention strategies

 Early screening tests for Dyslexia

 Scientific, evidence-based Dyslexia remediation

programs implemented with fidelity, which can be
accessed by both general and special education

 Access to appropriate “assistive technologies” in the

public school setting for students with Dyslexia.

D. Rafferty DDAwarenessDay4.18.18
Decoding Dyslexia - NY

NYS Pending Legislation

NYS Bill A8262/S6581 PASSES

Whereas the bill directs the commissioner of education
to issue a guidance memorandum to school districts and
BOCES to inform them of the unique educational needs
of students with dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia.

2017-2018 Pending Legislation

Requires the certification or training of teachers,
administrators and instructors in the area of dyslexia
and related disorders. Sponsored by: Simon / Co-
Sponsored by: Dinowitz, Miller, Seawright, Titone /
Multi-sponsors: Abbate, Barron, Braunstein, Barnell
2017-2018 Pending Legislation
Establishes a pilot program to provide early screening
and intervention services for children with risk factors of
dyslexia. Sponsored by: Simon / Co-sponsored by:
Dinowitz, Miller, Seawright, Titone / Multi-sponsors:
Abate, Barron, Braunstein, Barnell

D. Rafferty DDAwarenessDay4.18.18
Support NYS Bill A1480/S2534
Empower Teachers with Training

Helping not only students with Dyslexia

Approximately 7 out of 10 students in NYS
are NOT at proficiency levels in reading

National Assessment of Education Progress

(NAEP) – Reading Assessment 8th Graders



60 66% 67%



2017 2015

Proficient Not Proficient

Source: NAEP 2015/2017

D. Rafferty DDAwarenessDay4.18.18
What is Dyslexia and why should we care?
“The Beginning of Wisdom is calling things by their Right Name.”
Ancient Chinese Proverb

Dyslexia is difficulty with language. It is

neurological in nature.

 People with Dyslexia often have average (or

potentially above average) intelligence yet
typically read at levels significantly lower
than expected.[1] [2]

 Dyslexia is not just a reading problem and varies among each

person. “The differences are personal; the diagnosis is clinical; the
treatment is educational; and the understanding is scientific (The Many
Faces of Dyslexia by Margaret Rawson). [1]

 An unexpected gap may exists between their potential for

learning and their school achievement. Dyslexia is often
referred to as a ‘hidden’ disability. [6]

 Although there are laws that presumably protect the

educational rights of our children with dyslexia, they are
broad-based and many times not successful in assisting the
vast number of children in closing the educational gap with
their peers.

 Dyslexia is estimated to affect up to 20% of the population.

The cost of NOT providing meaningful help is too great. [3] [4] [5]

D. Rafferty Rev 3.17.2017

Decoding Dyslexia - NY

 Raise Dyslexia awareness

 Empower families and teachers to

support their children (students)

 Work with policy-makers on best

practices to identify, instruct and
support students

Primum non nocere

First Cause NO harm

D. Rafferty Rev 3.17.2017

Decoding Dyslexia - NY is a grassroots movement
driven by New York families concerned with the
limited access to educational interventions for
Dyslexia within our public schools.

We aim to raise Dyslexia awareness, empower

families to support their children and inform policy-
makers on best practices to identify, remediate and
support students with Dyslexia in NY
public schools and higher education institutions.

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Decoding Dyslexia - NY

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D. Rafferty Rev 3.17.2017