We Are Decoding Dyslexia Maryland: 14 Chapters, Stronger Together
Decoding Dyslexia Maryland is a parent-led, grassroots movement driven by families concerned about reading instruction and interventions for all students, including those with dyslexia, in Maryland Public Schools.
Reading & Dyslexia Handbook Bill reintroduced by Delegate Eric Ebersole and Senator Katie Fry-Hester
2021 Legislative Update
During the 2020 legislative session, Delegate Eric Luedtke and Senator Katie Fry Hester introduced HB 718 and SB 575, the Reading and Dyslexia Handbook bills. HB 718 passed the House unanimously, but due to the pandemic and the shortened legislative session, the Senate bill did not make it to the Senate floor.
The Reading & Dyslexia Handbook legislation was reintroduced for the 2021 legislative session by Delegate Eric Ebersole as HB 237 and it is scheduled for a hearing before the House Ways & Means Committee on January 20th at 1:00 PM. The Senate cross-file is sponsored by Senator Katie Fry-Hester and is SB 126; it is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Environmental, Health and Education (EHE) Committee on January 27th at 11:00 AM.
We are asking parents, educators, administrators and community partners to email their representatives in the Maryland General Assembly in support of this legislation. DDMD's Advocacy Tool-Kit provides a Step-by-Step guide to navigating the legislative process and how to engage with representatives.
If you are interested in submitting written / oral testimony and/or meeting with Senators on the EHE Committee, please fill out the Interest Form so the DDMD Legislative Committee can coordinate with you.
The Maryland Ready to Read Act (2019, SB 734, Ch. 512), originally included language to create a Dyslexia Handbook. The final bill did not include the handbook language in order to shorten and tighten the bill. The recommendation to create a Dyslexia Handbook is an inexpensive means to provide supplemental information to Maryland’s 24 local control districts so they have access to the best practices to identify and address dyslexia in Maryland.
“This Handbook should reflect the neurobiological and operational definition of dyslexia provided in the dyslexia Technical Assistance Bulletin and mirrored in this document, and should include evidence-based practice guidelines for identification, assessment, and intervention, service delivery model(s), and progress monitoring strategies and tools. This is a legislative opportunity to establish and fund a Working Group or Dyslexia Advisory Committee to develop the handbook using the Best Practices document presented by the Task Force.”
Maryland’s 2017 Legislative Dyslexia Task Force Report includes a recommendation to create a Dyslexia Handbook as a result of the findings from the Dyslexia Task Force. The Task Force found that administrators, educators, and parents would benefit from a resource on dyslexia that is electronically accessible to all (p. 52). The Recommendation says:
COVID-19 Response & Recovery
Both the State of Maryland and the Maryland Department of Education released plans on May 6 to recover and resume the economy and education. The first draft did not include input from community stakeholders and has since been updated to reflect some of that input. A new version of the plan is linked HERE and is still considered a DRAFT. The team that is working on the DRAFT document meets June 3 and a summary of that meeting will be posted on the DDMD blog page.
Resources to Stay Informed & Take Action
Literacy is a human right and dyslexia is often a reason why many children and adults struggle to read and spell. Dyslexia has largely remained misunderstood and under identified in the public-school setting. Legislation, awareness, and advocacy are occurring nationally on this important topic to help increase dyslexia awareness.
Decoding Dyslexia’s Official Position on Black Literacy Matters (BLM)
Call to Action
Decoding Dyslexia disavows racism, hatred, discrimination, police brutality, systematic, institutional and implicit biases.
Decoding Dyslexia pledges to diligently work to learn, listen and become aware of the effects of racism, biases, disparities in resources and programs and its impacts on Black and brown students who are dyslexic.
We pledge to become conscious and intentional of our messaging, campaigns, imagery, advocacy, support and partnerships to ensure that Black and brown students and families are represented.
We pledge to genuinely support, raise awareness and hold accountable the systems that overlook their needs and advocate on behalf of Black and brown students who not only have to overcome the effects of dyslexia but racism, educator bias, educational and systemic bias, access to services and information.
We stand in accountability of the growth and changes we need to take, and we understand and stand in solidarity that Black lives matter, too.
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Families/Advocates of Dyslexic Children in NJ Edward and Delaney Bray The Brittain Family Mark Brugger The Evoy Family Andrew Kavulich The Lewer/Lynam Family The Marsh Family
WY Lit (Wyoming)
Diversity Committee Team:
Maryland to Screen & Intervene for Kindergarten Students
Where to Find Help for Dyslexia, Dysgraphia & Dyscalculia
Ready to Read Screen & Intervene Legislation Signing Ceremony
Delegation's Education Subcommittee in February. Pictured above are Diana Gough and Delegation Chair, Delegate Alonzo Washington, D-Prince Georges.
Delegate Eric Luedtke and Senator Craig Zucker, sponsors of the Ready to Read bills, talk about the unanimous House vote for SB 734 on March 27th! #soallcanread
Ameer Baraka supports the Ready to Read Act and asks Governor Hogan and Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford for their support to screen kids for reading difficulties early! Follow Ameer on Twitter @ameerbaraka
Delegate Luedtke Drops House Bill 690: Ready to Read! 85 cosponsors!!
Decoding Dyslexia Maryland Frederick County's Dynamic Duo delivers testimony to the Kirwan Commission during its last public forum in November 2018. With laughs and honesty delivered with the true spirit of fierce advocates, the girls supported the Ready to Read Act and related how reading screening would have helped them get the help they needed.