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8.4 Advocacy for Students with Dyslexia
Parents and guardians are a student’s first teacher and most important advocate. Being an advocate for the student with dyslexia means giving a voice to the student’s needs when he or she is unable to either understand or express those needs himself or herself. It means helping the student obtain the resources required to meet his or her unique needs.
Parents can increase their understanding of dyslexia, special education, and advocacy by connecting with organizations that promote dyslexia awareness and by accessing web-based information that is free and downloadable, including the following:
- The International Dyslexia Association has a long history in providing up-to-date and research-based information about dyslexia.
- In Colorado, parents can contact the Rocky Mountain Branch of the International Dyslexia Association for local information and events.
- Understood for Learning and Attention Issues is a web-based resource created by the National Center for Learning Disabilities along with a number of other professional and advocacy organizations. Understood.org specializes in providing parents with helpful resources on a range of learning-related topics.
Parents can contact their local public library to locate additional resources such as:
Overcoming Dyslexia (2004), Sally Shaywitz, M.D.
Dyslexia Advocate! How to Advocate for a Child with Dyslexia Within the Public Education System (2016), Kelli Sandman-Hurley
Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, Second Edition (2006), Pam Wright and Peter Wright, Esq.
CDE technical assistance document The Consideration of Clinical Diagnosis in the Educational Identification of Disabilities in Accordance with IDEA 2004 addresses clinical diagnosis, special education eligibility and 504 Plans.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights in 2016 published Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools. This guide addresses eligibility and the creation of 504 Plans.
The National Center for Improving Literacy offers helpful resources to parents. The resources include the following literacy briefs and companion infographics: