Wednesday, June 12, 2013

OH Legislature Names October as "Dyslexia Awareness Month"

Dyslexia Bill Passes the Ohio House of Representatives (HB 97: Brenner, Letson)
Today, the Ohio House of Representatives, 130th General Assembly, voted on HB 97, a bill that State Rep. Andrew Brenner sponsored to make October "Dyslexia Awareness Month." This coincides with National Dyslexia Awareness Month. The bill passed 90-2.
This follows Rep. Brenner's carrying HB 96 (Brenner, Celeste) through the 129th General Assembly and to Gov. John Kasich's desk where Kasich signed it in to law. HB 96 created a pilot program for dyslexic students so that they be identified as dyslexic and learn to read in school.
"In Ohio, it is the state's Constitutional responsibility to provide education for all children in the state," Rep. Brenner said. "How can we properly educate a dyslexic child if we aren't even aware that he or she is dyslexic? By providing awareness of dyslexia and what it is, it will be easier to identify children with it and help them learn to read."
Why do we need to be aware of dyslexia?
In our schools today, students learn with what is called the "whole language" or "whole word" method, and most students are no longer taught phonics. If you are dyslexic and mix up letters as you read, you cannot learn to read in our schools. Dyslexic students need to be taught to learn to read with phonics, but usually they are not diagnosed until late elementary or middle school grades.
In addition, many in our prisons cannot read because they are dyslexic and were never diagnosed properly or helped. As we know, if someone cannot learn to read, they cannot survive in today's economy. If you view this simply from an economic perspective, it costs less for us to catch a dyslexic child early in life than to have him or her graduate from high school -- if that even happens -- and end up on the welfare roll, all because the person never learned to read.
Overall, 10-20% of the population is dyslexic. Among our students in Ohio, as many as 300,000 have dyslexia. These individuals need to be helped as children, and through creating awareness for teachers, aides, tutors, parents and family members, we can help to make sure that all of our state's children can learn to read. The earlier we diagnose the problem and help the child, the greater the chance of helping that child become a successful, productive adult who can contribute to our society in a positive way.
For more information or to schedule an interview with State Rep. Andrew Brenner, please email

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