Dyslexia Policies in SREB States


Assistive Technology for Students With Dyslexia

Below is a list of some assistive technology resources that can be helpful for individuals with dyslexia or individuals with reading, writing and/or executive function difficulties. These resources are adapted from information provided by Debbie Brineman and Joyce Derr at the Georgia IDA Conference, 2018.

Also useful is Microsoft’s guide to the features of its Learning Tools.

Download Microsoft's Learning Tools features guide here



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.

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 Dyslexia Policies in SREB States 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.

News SREB News Release

Identify Students with Dyslexia Early, and Use Proven Strategies to Teach Them
States, schools can help more children learn to read well

Dyslexia affects at least one in 10 people. But only 5 percent of them are identified so that schools can help them learn to overcome their difficulties with reading and writing.
A new policy brief from the Southern Regional Education Board urges states and schools to identify students with dyslexia and intervene early to help more children meet reading benchmarks.