Dyslexia Legislation Passed in Ohio

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By Charlotte G. Andrist, Ph.D., NCSP, President, IDA Central Ohio Branch

Ohio X-manHouse Bills (HB) 96 and 157 were passed by the Ohio Senate with the concurrence of the Ohio House during a late-night, end-of-the-year Statehouse session on December 14; both bills are expected to be signed into law by Governor Kasich before Christmas.  HB 96 (Celeste – D & Brenner – R) has two components.  The law will:  1) place the IDA definition of dyslexia directly into Ohio statute. Current Ohio law lists dyslexia as a specific learning disability, consistent with IDEA 2004, but does not provide a definition of dyslexia; and 2) begin a 3-year pilot program for the early identification and remediation of students at-risk for dyslexia and other phonologically based reading disorders.  HB 157 (Schuring – R & Letson – D) also has two components.  The law will:  1) define a dyslexia specialist as someone who has achieved training consistent with the Level II IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards; and 2) give Educational Service Centers (Ohio’s statewide network of inservice training facilities) and other educational institutions permission to hire a dyslexia specialist to provide professional development in the area of dyslexia for Ohio teachers and administrators. Many thanks to all of those who have worked so diligently to make this dyslexia legislation a reality, including Stephanie Gordan, Martha Chiodi, Pam Kanfer and many others in the Ohio Dyslexia Group.  A special thank-you goes to Janis Mitchell (HB 96) and Rebecca Tolson (HB 157) for the lobbying efforts that got these two legislative initiatives started.

Watch the Bill pass here!

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