Dyslexia Policies and Resources
Addressing the Needs of Struggling Young Readers

If states can identify more students who face the challenges of dyslexia and provide effective early interventions, they should be able to reduce the proportion of students who perform below grade-level expectations. This in turn will ensure that a greater proportion of all students are prepared for success in fourth grade and beyond.

At least 1 in 10 people are though to be affected by dyslexia


Resources to Support the Georgia Dyslexia Pilot Districts

In 2020 SREB began working with the Region 6 Comprehensive Center at SERVE to support the Georgia Department of Education and Georgia’s dyslexia pilot program. Part of this support includes producing resources for the pilot districts, which can be downloaded below.

Publication January 201816 pages(18E01)
Dyslexia Policies in SREB States

Dyslexia Policies in SREB States
Addressing the Needs of Struggling Young Readers

This brief lays out what researchers know about the learning differences associated with dyslexia, which reading interventions are effective for individuals with dyslexia, and what good state policies can mean for children and their families.

In February 2020 the policy table in Appendix C was updated to reflect policy changes through the 2019 legislative sessions.



Dyslexia Policy: The Changing Landscape

What does research say about how children should learn to read?

A map showing which states in the SREB region had dyslexia policies in 2018

Research shows that beginning readers need to be taught how oral speech connects to written language. In order to understand that, young children must be able to perceive the individual sounds in spoken words — like the /c/ /a/ and /t/ sounds in “cat.” They must also be taught how those individual sounds correspond to written letters and combinations of letters, a skill called phonics. Some children learn these relationships quickly and easily, while others — approximately 40 percent of children — require explicit, systematic instruction.


Free Dyslexia Screening Resources

A number of free screening tools are available to help you determine whether a child has characteristics of dyslexia. If you suspect a child has dyslexia and may need further evaluation, speak with the special education administrator at the child’s school, consult with a psychologist, or reach out to your state’s International Dyslexia Association branch for assistance.

SREB does not endorse any of these instruments.

Teacher Training Resources

Teacher Training Resources
Resources for evidence-based reading instruction and intervention for struggling readers and students with dyslexia

All students ─ but especially struggling readers and students with dyslexia ─ benefit from structured literacy instruction that explicitly teaches language skills and the essential components of reading. It is also important that all teachers be able to recognize characteristics of dyslexia and know strategies that will help their students.


2018 HSTW Conference Presentation
Supporting Struggling Secondary Readers

Policy Analyst Samantha Durrance presented at the 2018 High Schools That Work conference on supporting struggling readers in secondary schools, especially students with dyslexia.

Attendees left with a basic understanding of dyslexia and how children learn to read, as well as resource toolkits including:

Publication February 20185 pages

Research Recommendations for Dyslexia Screening and Screening Requirements in SREB States

Early screening for reading difficulties and dyslexia can identify students who need specialized interventions before they fall too far behind in reading. In response to a request for information from a legislator in Kentucky, the first document below summarizes recommendations from current research. It also lists and links to screening requirements in SREB states. Last revised: October 2018.

Blog post Samantha Durrance, SREB Policy Analyst
Dyslexia policies in SREB states, January 2018

Don’t Be Afraid to Say “Dyslexia”
Acknowledging and identifying dyslexia is step one in helping struggling readers

Researchers estimate that dyslexia affects at least one in 10 people. As defined by the International Dyslexia Association, dyslexia is a neurobiological learning disability, unrelated to intelligence, characterized by differences in the way the brain processes language. These differences result in difficulties developing skills that are important for reading and writing. While it cannot be outgrown, individuals with dyslexia can learn strategies to help them overcome the unique challenges it presents.