Education Community Letter From Diane M. Douglas

April 26th, 2017

 

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Office of Diane M. Douglas Superintendent of Public Instruction

April 24, 2017

Dear Education Community,

I am pleased to share a new resource available for families and teachers to help identify and support students with dyslexia. As a result of legislation sponsored by State Representative Jill Norgaard (R) LD-18, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) has developed The Dyslexia Handbook, a technical assistance document which can be found by clicking here. State information and resources about dyslexia have previously not been available in a format designed to be used by parents and teachers to raise awareness about this disability. I am thankful that Representative Norgaard’s leadership on this issue has brought together parents and education organizations from around the state to collaborate with ADE and develop this important new resource. In addition to today’s official launch of The Dyslexia Handbook, those involved in the development of this document testified on this item in front of the State Board of Education and shared the group’s next steps to support families and teachers of students with dyslexia. The group will begin focusing on the importance of early identification by increasing professional development opportunities for current teachers and will promote dyslexia education in teacher preparation programs at postsecondary institutions. Early identification of dyslexia is critical to eliminate negative impacts on the child’s learning. By providing classroom teachers and parents the knowledge and tools to detect these barriers in student learning, we can get students the immediate support and resources they need to be successful. To get the word out about this new resource, which is available at http://www.azed.gov/dyslexia, I encourage you to display the Dyslexia Handbook Flier in your front office, library or community center. The Dyslexia Handbook Flier is available HERE. Thank you for your help to spread the word about this important new tool. I look forward to sharing further progress on this mission to decode dyslexia and help every child get the necessary support they need to thrive.

Sincerely, Diane M. Douglas Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction