OKLAHOMA CITY – An event to focus attention on dyslexia is scheduled at the State Capitol later this month, Rep. Ed Cannaday announced Thursday.
The Porum Democrat will join the advocacy group Decoding Dyslexia OK in co-hosting a “come-and-go” meeting Feb. 20 in Capitol Room 112, from 10 a.m. to noon. The event will be held in conjunction with Capitol Dyslexia Awareness Day, and the event will be open to the public, Cannaday said.
For additional information, contact Cannaday’s Capitol office at (405) 557-7375; or Michelle Keiper, founding member of Decoding Dyslexia OK, at (918) 691-6118; or by visiting the website www.decodingdyslexiaok.org
Dyslexia, a reading disorder, is characterized by trouble with reading despite normal intelligence. Different people are affected to varying degrees. Problems may include difficulties in spelling words, reading quickly, writing words, "sounding out" words in the head, pronouncing words when reading aloud, and understanding what one reads.
“Oklahoma’s institutions of higher education are not adequately preparing our teachers to identify this serious disability,” said Cannaday, a retired school teacher/administrator. Two-thirds of Oklahoma fourth graders read below proficiency levels in 2015, he said; blame was attributed at least in part to suspected dyslexia.
Dyslexia can be managed through early identification, Cannaday said. “We have effective interventions, but first, educators must be able to identify the condition.” To address this need, Cannaday has filed House Bill 1789.
It would require educators in kindergarten through third grade who teach early childhood education, elementary education and/or special education to receive quality training in “multisensory structured language teaching methods in order to meet the needs of students identified as having dyslexia.”
HB 1789 has been assigned to the House Committee on Common Education.