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Dyslexia Working Group

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 created 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 is also tasked with recommending 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 annually 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 2020.

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

Working Group Facilitation

Deborah Hunsaker, M.ED. serves 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 are publicly available on this webpage.

2021- 2022 Meeting Dates and Locations

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most meetings of the Dyslexia Working Group for the 2021-22 school year are anticipated to be held remotely.  If conditions permit, the Dyslexia Working Group may meet in person following proper health protocols.  The meetings are open to the public; however, only working group members have an active role in the meetings.  The Dyslexia Working Group meetings are scheduled for the following dates below. 

  • Friday, November 12, 2021; 10am-2pm
  • Tuesday, December 14, 2021; 10am-2pm
  • Friday, January 7, 2022; 10am-2pm
    • Virtual 
  • Friday, February 25, 2022; 10am-2pm
    • Virtual 
  • Monday, May 23, 2022; 10am-2pm
    • In-Person - TBD


2019-2020 Past Meeting Dates, Locations, and Meeting Notes


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

Kenneth Davis

Tamara Durbin

Kathleen Grubb

Holly Hill

Karin Johnson

Sierra Loar

Jay Mayer

Kathy McCall

Laura Santerre-Lemmon

Jennifer Urbach

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.

September 2020-May 2021

  • Dyslexia Working Group meets to continue developing its recommendations

July 2021

  • Dyslexia Working Group submits second annual report of policy recommendations to the Commissioner of Education.