People are shocked when I tell them that the number of books I've read cover-to-cover can be counted on my fingers. While it’s a surprise to many, it's not unusual for people with dyslexia, a learning disability that affects approximately 10% of the population.After been diagnosed with dyslexia – more specifically, difficulties with tasks involving rapid processing of symbols – at the age of 10, I felt hindered and frustrated in my studies at school. Writing simple sentences was a struggle and, at times, reading felt just like this:Throughout my relatively short career
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Washington, D.C. – The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee today approved the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act(READ Act) (H.R. 3033), a bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus, which has over 100 members.
Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading in an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader. Dyslexia affects an estimated 8.5 million school children and one in six Americans in some form. The READ Act supports important research and development to help overcome dyslexia. The bill passed out of Committee today by voice vote.
Rep. Smith: “Despite the prevalence of dyslexia, many Americans remain undiagnosed, untreated and silently struggle at school or work. More research focused on practical application is the best way to help develop the potential of students. This research includes greater awareness of how to identify students with dyslexia, better curricula, more resources in the hands of parents, teachers, and students, and the development of proven implementation and scaling models for effective interventions. The READ Act will provide an opportunity for a brighter and more productive future for millions of Americans.”
Rep. Brownley: “I am so pleased that the Science Committee has approved the READ Act, bipartisan legislation that Chairman Smith and I introduced. Our bill will spur scientific research about and improve understanding of dyslexia, which will translate into better teacher training and more successful strategies for helping students with dyslexia achieve in the classroom, and reach their full potential. I appreciate Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Johnson’s support and leadership on the Committee.”
The READ Act requires the president’s annual budget request to Congress to include a line item for the Research in Disabilities Education program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). It also requires the NSF to devote at least $5 million annually to dyslexia research, which would focus on best practices in the following areas:
· Early identification of children and students with dyslexia· Professional development about dyslexia for teachers and administrators· Curricula development and evidence-based educational tools for children with dyslexia
The READ Act authorizes multi-directorate, merit-reviewed, and competitively awarded dyslexia research projects using funds appropriated for the NSF Research and Related Activities account and the Education and Human Resources Directorate.
The Congressional Dyslexia Caucus is dedicated to increasing public awareness about dyslexia and ensuring all students have equal educational opportunities.
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