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Dyslexia Working Group

Dyslexia Working Group


Download the Year 1 Dyslexia Working Group Report

Background Information

During the 2019 legislative session, the Colorado General Assembly passed House Bill 19-1134 (PDF), Identification and Interventions for Students with Dyslexia.  The bill creates a working group appointed by the Commissioner of Education to analyze state and national data and practices concerning identification and support of students with dyslexia.  The working group will also recommend dyslexia screening tools and processes, a statewide plan for identifying and supporting students with dyslexia, and educator training in recognizing and providing interventions for students with dyslexia. The working group must submit a report of its recommendations to the Commissioner, and the Commissioner must submit the report to the State Board of Education and the education committees of the General Assembly.

The bill also establishes a pilot program to assist local education providers in using READ act assessments to screen for dyslexia and in providing interventions for students who are identified as having dyslexia. More information about the pilot program will be available in the late fall of 2019.

For questions regarding the Dyslexia Working Group, please contact Melissa Colsman at 303.866.6737 or 

Working Group Facilitation

Deborah Hunsaker, M.ED. will serve as the facilitator of the Dyslexia Working Group.  Ms. Hunsaker shares the CDE’s strong commitment to improved Dyslexia screening, identification, and support for Colorado’s students. The primary roles of the facilitator are to manage the working group meetings and record the working group’s recommendations in a final report. All meeting agendas and summaries will be publicly available on this webpage.

Meeting Dates and Locations

All meetings of the Dyslexia Working Group will be open to the public; however, only working group members will have an active role in the meeting.  The Working Group meetings will be held on the following dates, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  



HB 19-1134 specifies that the membership of the Dyslexia Working Group consist of the following:

  • A parent of a child who is identified as having dyslexia
  • A parent of a child who is identified as having dyslexia and a disability
  • A school district literacy specialist
  • A school district director of special education
  • A state or national literacy expert
  • A state or national dyslexia expert
  • Two elementary grade teachers, one of whom teaches in a rural school district or a small rural school district
  • A principal who is employed at an elementary school in a rural school district or an employee of a board of cooperative services who has expertise as a literacy specialist
  • A faculty member of an institution of higher education who teaches in an approved educator preparation program for elementary grade teachers
  • A member of the local chapter of an international dyslexia association



Dyslexia Working Group Members

Jamie Brackney

Alex Christy

Kathleen Collins

Tamara Durbin

Amanda Harris

Andrea Kamper

Karen Leopold 

Karin Johnson

Kathy McCall

Laura Santerre-Lemmon

Jennifer Urbach

John Alexander

Anticipated Timeline of Activities

Below is the anticipated timeline of activities related to the Dyslexia Working Group.  The timeline is subject to change so interested parties are encouraged to check this webpage frequently for updates.

June 2019

  • CDE posts notification of opportunity for potential Dyslexia Working Group facilitators
  • CDE publishes application process for membership in the Dyslexia Working Group

July 2019

  • CDE announces the facilitator for the working group

Summer 2019

  • CDE contacts applicants for the working group

Fall 2019

  • Dyslexia Working Group launched

December 2019

  • Dyslexia Working Group submits progress report to the Commissioner of Education
  • Dyslexia Working Group submits progress report to the Commissioner of Education.  Click here to download.

July 2020

February 2021

  • Commissioner of Education submits first annual Dyslexia Working Group report with any legislative recommendations to the State Board of Education and the education committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate.