(Phoenix, Ariz., April 24, 2017) – Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today unveiled The Dyslexia Handbook, a new resource available for families and teachers to help identify and support students with Dyslexia.
The development of this handbook was the result of recent legislation sponsored by State Representative Jill Norgaard (R) LD-18 in House Bill 2202, permitting the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to create a resource to educate families and teachers about dyslexia.
“When I’ve toured the state during my We Are Listening Tour for the last two years, I’ve heard overwhelmingly that parents need more resources to help their children succeed,” said Superintendent Douglas. “I am appreciative of Representative Norgaard’s leadership on this issue to bring together parents and education organizations from around the state to collaborate with ADE and develop this important new resource.”
To celebrate this handbook launch, Representative Norgaard presented to the State Board of Education (SBE) about this new resource available and shared her next action to help decode dyslexia, which includes an increase of professional development opportunities for classroom teachers in the early identification of dyslexia. By her side at today’s SBE presentation were the many parents and education organizations that helped develop this new resource.
”I am very honored to have been a part of this team over the past nine months,” said Representative Norgaard. “This handbook will provide teachers and parents with a great tool to be able to decode dyslexia at an early age, and to provide focused intervention and resources to improve our literacy rates. I look forward to the success that this effort will yield.”
Improved student and parent resources were also priorities of Superintendent Douglas’ 2017 AZ Kids Can’t Wait!, an education plan to help shape education policy based on citizen feedback, which is available at www.azed.gov/beheardAZ.
Access to the new dyslexia technical assistance handbook to support families and teachers, as well as additional literacy resources, can be found at www.azed.gov/dyslexia.
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.
Diane M. Douglas
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction