Washington, D.C. – The House Dyslexia Caucus today announced its 114th Congress leadership with Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) and Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) serving as bipartisan co-chairs.
“I am delighted to welcome Congressman Smith, who has been a leader in Congress on this important issue, as Caucus co-chair,” said Brownley. “As the mother of a daughter with dyslexia, I understand all too well the challenges that these uniquely talented and gifted individuals face. By bringing together individuals with dyslexia, community advocates, scientists, educators, and policymakers, the Caucus can play an important role in raising awareness about dyslexia, which affects millions of Americans. I hope the Caucus can help ensure that dyslexia is better understood and earlier identified, so that students are provided the necessary resources and accommodations to reach their full potential.”
“I am pleased to lead this important caucus with my colleague, Congresswoman Brownley,” said Smith. “As a member of this caucus and chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I have realized the importance of continued dyslexia research as well as the need for early detection and intervention in our schools. My hope is that this caucus will continue to play a key role in educating our colleagues in Congress and the public about dyslexia. Changing the way we approach dyslexia – as possibility rather than disability – can enhance opportunities and brighten futures for millions.”
Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in the United States, impacting Americans from all walks of life at all ages, including Members of Congress, their families, and thousands of their constituents. As many as one in five Americans struggle with dyslexia or other learning disorders. According to a November 2011 Government Accountability Office report (GAO-12-40), many students with learning and other disabilities, including dyslexia, are not receiving accommodations, such as extended testing time, required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when they take high stakes examinations such as the SAT, GRE, LSAT, or US Medical Licensing Examinations and others.
The Dyslexia Caucus was founded as a bipartisan task force dedicated to increasing public awareness about dyslexia and ensuring equal educational opportunities to students with the disorder.