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California: Schools have guidelines for dealing with dyslexia

Aug 28, 2017, Santa Barbara Independent: Students with Dyslexia: Left in the Dark http://www.independent.com/news/2017/aug/28/students-dyslexia-left-dark/ …For generations, dyslexia has been treated in public schools as a rare and mysterious occurrence for which we have no explanation. It’s a belief as outdated as thinking that an eclipse is caused by a dragon nibbling away at the sun. ... The future is looking bright in DyslexiaLand, as the balance of power has shifted: Parents have begun to realize that they, not educators, are the experts in dyslexia. … Here in California, the guidelines required by Assembly Bill 1369, the unanimously passed dyslexia bill (cosponsored by then-assembly member Das Williams) are now posted on the California Department of Education website and were implemented this school year. These guidelines provide information for all community members, including educators, parents, and administrators, with essential information about how to address dyslexia for their students in grades K-12. … Some districts are more responsive than others. In Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest school district in the state, dyslexia advocates asked school boardmembers to do more than just the annual declaration of Dyslexia Awareness Month. And they did, voting unanimously to direct the superintendent to come up with a plan to update the district’s dyslexia policies, procedures, and practices, including staff development, reading instruction, and assessments, and to report back to them within 90 calendar days. As a result, district officials have appointed four different work groups — consisting of parents and educators — to meet and develop policy on how to address dyslexia in a comprehensive way. Those that are not responsive may pay a high price: The public law firm Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) recently filed a class-action lawsuit against Berkeley Unified School District for its years-long denial of appropriate teaching of students with dyslexia. Locally, it remains to be seen how our many local school districts intend to systematically address dyslexia, but they cannot avoid it much longer. Parents remain determined that their dyslexic children have access to appropriate instruction, understanding, and accommodations