The Dyslexia Amendments to the Alabama Administrative Code were unanimously adopted by the Alabama State Board of Education on October 8, 2015.
The Dyslexia Amendments include:
Dyslexia is a specific learning challenge that is neurological in origin.
It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Dyslexia-specific intervention shall mean evidenced-based, specialized reading, writing, and spelling instruction that is multisensory in nature equipping students to simultaneously use multiple senses (vision, hearing, touch, and movement). Dyslexia-specific intervention employs direct instruction of systematic and cumulative content. The sequence must begin with the easiest and most basic elements and progress methodically to more difficult material. Each step must also be based on those already learned. Concepts must be systematically reviewed to strengthen memory. Components of dyslexic-specific intervention include instruction
targeting phonological awareness, sound symbol association, syllable structure, morphology, syntax, and semantics.
The Dyslexia Amendments require that all schools provide students with dyslexia screening and that dyslexia screening results be reviewed by the school’s problem solving team to determine the student’s needs for dyslexia-specific intervention, accommodations, and assistive technology as a part of the school’s RTI general education process. Parents must be notified of screening results and goals of the dyslexia-specific intervention. Additionally, parents must be provided with regular progress monitoring reports reflecting the student’s response to the dyslexia-specific intervention.
The Dyslexia Amendments establish a Dyslexia Advisory Council that has been appointed by the Alabama State Board of Education and require the creation of a Dyslexia Resource Guide. The Dyslexia Resource Guide and a wealth of additional dyslexia-related information is available at the Alabama State Department of Education website. https://www.alsde.edu/sec/ari/Pages/dyslexia-all.aspx
Photo at right: Jerry Burfitt, Denise Gibbs and Angie Wilson Hood at the passage of the Alabama Dyslexia Amendments.