Federal Legislation

The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and Dyslexia
The federal Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) was originally enacted by the United States Congress in 1975 to ensure that children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Dyslexia is listed as an example of a “specific learning disability” in the text of the IDEA. However, a diagnosis of dyslexia does not automatically mean a child has a disability under the law and is therefore eligible for special education. To receive special education, a student must be found to 1) have a disability under the law, and 2) be in need of specially designed instruction. According to the IDEA, it is possible for a child to be getting good grades, yet have a disability and be in need of specially-designed instruction.

A Response to Intervention (RTI) Process Cannot Be Used to Delay-Deny an Evaluation for Eligibility under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services RTI Memo

U.S. Department of Education Guidance Letter on Dyslexia
If your child has an IEP and you have been told by their school that you cannot use the diagnosis dyslexia, dyscalculia or dysgraphia in their IEP please let them know that IDEA does allow this and show them this guidance letter from the U.S. Department of Education.

READ (Research Excellence and Advancement for Dyslexia) Act H.R. 3033 The first Federal law addressing dyslexia is signed into law on February 18, 2016. The READ Act, introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), supports important research to further our understanding of dyslexia, including better methods for early detection and teacher training.

October Designated as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month” 
Senate Resolution 275 passed unanimously on October 7, 2015. U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) introduced a bipartisan resolution, Senate Resolution 275, designating October 2015 as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month.” The Cassidy-Mikulski Resolution called on Congress, states, schools and local education agencies to recognize the significant educational implications of dyslexia that must be addressed. The resolution was a major step forward in acceptance, support and recognition of dyslexia by schools at a national level. Read more about “Game-changing U.S. Senate Resolution 275” on The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity website.


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2014) Parents Guide

ADA Requirements-Testing Accommodations – U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division