If you’ve heard me present or followed my blog, you’ve seen that I mention people like Richard Branson, Walt Disney, Charles Schwab, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Henry Ford, and Kiera Knightly as just a few amazing individuals who have dyslexia, and are recognized as remarkable leaders and experts in their fields. While they have all experienced their share of adversity and struggle, the common thread among them is that they recognize the role dyslexia has played in helping to achieve their success.
It always amazes me when I run into someone who says they are unfamiliar with dyslexia. It affects as many as one in five people! With that kind of reach and so many high profile people sharing about it, how can people still be unfamiliar or unaware of what dyslexia is?
I believe this will, unfortunately, forever be a challenge. But it is a challenge worth taking on. Those of us who are engaged in this conversation, whether by personal experience or profession, have an obligation to continue to raise awareness and educate others about the complexities and prevalence of dyslexia.
One in five means as many as five to seven children in a typical classroom, whether diagnosed or not, needs us to speak up. I hope you will join me this month – National Reading Month – in not only speaking up but also showing your support in advocating and educating those who don’t know dyslexia!
Recently, the legislative study committee on dyslexia in Wisconsin submitted two bills to the Joint Legislative Committee for review and vote. Both bills were approved and sent on to the Legislative Education Committee for vote. These bills would provide a step in the right direction is raising awareness and educating more people about dyslexia, how to identify characteristics of it, and what resources are most effective in supporting struggling learners.
The two proposed bills are:
LRB-0383/3 relates to developing a guidebook about dyslexia and related conditions.
LRB-0368/2 relates to employing a dyslexia specialist at the Department of Public Instruction and making an appropriation.
These two bills could provide a basis for wide-spread information being distributed to educators throughout Wisconsin and arming them with the knowledge to better serve the kiddos they teach. Your voice is needed though. These bills don’t get passed by resting on our laurels. We must reach out to our appointed legislators and let them know these are long overdue and desperately needed.
Locate your Senator and Representative and let them hear your voice!!! Call, write, email! https://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov/