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Legislation and Successful Learning

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Dyslexia Legislation

Just a few years ago there were no dyslexia laws in the United States, but due to the work of many concerned parents and concerned stakeholders, dyslexia legislation has been growing every year since 2008.

Below are additional details regarding dyslexia legislation at the federal level, as well as at the state level in Oregon and Washington.

There are now 42 states that have some type of dyslexia law that has been passed through legislation.

Only 8 US states have no dyslexia laws. They are:  Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota.

For a complete list, with type of law passed click here.

Oregon has passed two dyslexia related laws that provide professional development for one teacher in every K5 public school, screening, designate dyslexia specialist.

Newest Legislation: SB 1003
The legislature has put forth a new dyslexia bill to address the need to screen for the risk factors of dyslexia. In 2015, SB 612 required Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to develop a plan for universal screening of the risk factors of dyslexia and present that plan to the legislature. This new legislation was developed as the next steps and follow-up to that plan.


Beginning in 2008, Cheryl Anthony, then Vice-President of the Oregon Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, along with Shelbe Park, Board Member, and Judy Wright, President, ORBIDA, began approaching Washington legislators regarding the lack of attention to dyslexia in this state. After visiting with then legislator, Representative Deb Wallace of SW Washington, Cheryl approached Senator Don Benton, regarding the need for dyslexia training and legislation. He agreed to sponsor a bill, which became a bi-partisan bill, and after some additional work and support by the WA IDA branch, SB 6016 was passed and partially implemented.

Professional Development training was held in Tacoma, Washington for state literacy leaders in 2009. Then Governor Gregoire cut the funding for the bill. Fortunately, with connections in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and with the help of the WA IDA Branch and collaboration of the OR IDA Branch, a Dyslexia Resource Guide was written.

It is still available at: http://www.k12.wa.us/Reading/pubdocs/DyslexiaResourceGuide.pdf

The law as passed: https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=28A.300.530

RCW 28A.300.530
Individuals with dyslexia—Identification and instruction—Handbook—Reports.

(1) Within available resources, the office of the superintendent of public instruction, in consultation with the school districts that participated in the Lorraine Wojahn dyslexia pilot program, and with an international nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting efforts to provide appropriate identification of and instruction for individuals with dyslexia, shall:

(a) Develop an educator training program to enhance the reading, writing, and spelling skills of students with dyslexia. The training program must provide research-based, multisensory literacy intervention professional development in the areas of dyslexia and intervention implementation. The program shall be posted on the web site of the office of the superintendent of public instruction. The training program may be regionally delivered through the educational service districts. The educational service districts may seek assistance from the international nonprofit organization to deliver the training; and

(b) Develop a dyslexia handbook to be used as a reference for teachers and parents of students with dyslexia. The handbook shall be modeled after other state dyslexia handbooks, and shall include guidelines for school districts to follow as they identify and provide services for students with dyslexia. Additionally, the handbook shall provide school districts, and parents and guardians with information regarding the state’s relevant statutes and their relation to federal special education laws. The handbook shall be posted on the web site of the office of the superintendent of public instruction.

(2) Beginning September 1, 2009, and annually thereafter, each educational service district shall report to the office of the superintendent of public instruction the number of individuals who participate in the training developed and offered by the educational service district. The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall report that information to the legislative education committees.

[2009 c 546 § 2.]

Finding —Intent—2009 c 546: “Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability that affects individuals throughout their lives. Washington state has a long-standing tradition of working to serve its students with dyslexia. Since 2005, the legislature has provided funding for five pilot projects to implement research-based, multisensory literacy intervention for students with dyslexia. Participating schools were required to have a three-tiered reading structure in place, provide professional development training to teachers, assess students, and collect and maintain data on student progress.

The legislature finds that the students receiving intervention support through the dyslexia pilot projects have made substantial and steady academic gains. The legislature intends to sustain this work and expand the implementation to a level of statewide support for students with dyslexia by developing and providing information and training, including a handbook to continue to improve the skills of our students with dyslexia.” [2009 c 546 § 1.]

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