Washington, D.C. – Today, in her role as co-chair of the Congressional Dyslexia Caucus, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) testified and participated in a hearing before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on “The Science of Dyslexia,” describing her daughter’s experience with dyslexia, and what additional steps need to be taken to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to succeed.
“Our education system needs to do a better job training teachers to recognize and effectively educate students with dyslexia,” said Brownley. “We need to provide our schools with the resources to incorporate assistive technologies, such as audiobooks and speech to text interfaces, in the classroom, as well as support services. I hope this hearing will inform my lawmakers about how to better translate groundbreaking neuroscience research into innovative education policy that will make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans with dyslexia.”
Learning disabilities like dyslexia and attention-related disorders affect as many as one in five children in the United States. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, nearly half of secondary students with learning disabilities like dyslexia perform more than three grade levels below their enrolled grade in essential academic skills (45 percent in reading, 44 percent in math). Twenty percent of students with a learning disability drop out of high school, compared to just eight percent of students in the general population.
“One of the Science Committee’s most important missions is creating a 21st century workforce of engineers, scientists, and STEM professionals,” Brownley said. “Students with dyslexia are smart and capable and perhaps uniquely qualified because of their out-of-the-box way of attacking problems and processing information, but misconceptions about dyslexia too often result in a focus on a disability rather than ability.”
Brownley closed her testimony by urging her colleagues to cosponsor the Congressional Dyslexia Caucus’ bipartisan resolution, H.Res. 456, which already has 107 cosponsors.
Video of the hearing can be viewed here: https://democrats.science.house.gov/hearing/full-committee-hearing-science-dyslexia