Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) and Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Brooklyn) announced that they have introduced legislation in both chambers (S7418/A1380) that would facilitate early intervention for dyslexic learners statewide.
Roughly 1 in 5 children live with dyslexia, a language-based learning disability, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that a full 15% of Americans have the disorder. In honor of Dyslexia Awareness Month, Skoufis and Carroll have teamed up to sponsor legislation that would require annual dyslexia screening for all of New York’s kindergarten through 2nd grade students, as well as specialized instruction and support for those who need it.
“We know that when dyslexic students are paired with specialized instruction and the right curricula, they’re unstoppable,” said Senator Skoufis, “but all too often, children with this disorder are seen as ‘difficult’ or unwilling to learn. We cannot let these students languish in our school system. With an estimated 20% of students navigating the world with this condition, and many doing so under the radar, we must do all we can to ensure they receive the best possible educational experiences that set them up for lifelong success. I want to thank Assemblymember Carroll for partnering on this effort and being a longtime legislative champion for dyslexic New Yorkers.”
“As a person who struggled with dyslexia as a child, I know how important it is that we screen all children for dyslexia and provide the appropriate evidence based reading curriculum,” said Assemblymember Robert Carroll. “Without this two step approach, too many of our children will never fully reach their academic potential. We know how to teach all of our children to read – this bill will make sure we do what is necessary to make that a reality.”
Ann Hu, a writer, producer, and director from Orange County, understands the hurdles that families of dyslexic learners face: navigating a rigid school system with her own daughter, who is dyslexic, motivated Hu to make a new film, Confetti. Recently released in select theaters, Confetti provides insight into the challenges parents all over the world must overcome when living with an often misunderstood learning disability.
“Confetti is my personal story, yet it is meant for all of us to ponder our own struggles with education,” said Confetti Director Ann Hu. “I know that with increased awareness about dyslexia, we have a better chance to reach those who need the help. Senator Skoufis and Assemblymember Carroll have shown powerful leadership in moving this bill forward, which could change the lives of millions in coming decades.”
Senator Skoufis and Assemblymember Carroll remain committed to seeing all of New York’s children succeed. Their legislation is now in committee.