Texas Dyslexia Reform: Implementing a Policy in Its Infancy Essay

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The state of Texas, the first to adopt a law requiring instruction for students with dyslexia in 1985, continues to set the standard when it comes to dyslexia education reform (T. Flanders, personal communication, August 30, 2011). Until recently, little consideration was made in the use of assistive technology (AT) for students with mild disabilities, specifically in the field of dyslexia education and intervention (Edyburn, 2006, p. 18). With the passing of Senate Bill 866, concerning the implementation of classroom technology plans for students with dyslexia, the pursuit of reform has become of utmost importance (The Texas State Senate-Information News and Events of the 82nd Legislative Session, 2011). Although Texas is proactive in…show more content…
Sanson (2005, p. 3) believes that when it comes to accommodating students with disabilities, scientists, practitioners, and politicians are necessary to the process as a whole and communication between these individuals is essentia. The driving forces behind SB 866 include persons from both public and private sectors. Individuals testified to the Interim Committee on Dyslexia and Related Disorders in what dyslexic students need to be successful academically. Testimony was heard from educators at the college level, parents of dyslexic students, doctors familiar with dyslexia and related disorders, medical researchers, members of professional dyslexia organizations, and state officers (Texas Legislature Online, 2011). Each spoke of their experiences with individuals with dyslexia and related learning disorders, medically, personally, and academically and each was chosen for their research and knowledge as it pertains to this very specific field (T. Flanders, personal communication, August 30, 2011). Absent from the agenda were teachers and dyslexia therapists within the public school system (Texas Legislature Online, 2011). SB 866 requires the implementation of classroom technology plans for students with dyslexia, effective beginning September 2011. However, there is a proliferation of articles written concerning the lack of research available to support specific technologies for dyslexia (Alper &

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