Dyslexia legislation is often complicated because it varies by state. Here are the answers to commonly asked questions to get you started.
How do I find out who my state legislator is?
You can find the name of your state representative and state senator through a quick internet search, searching “Who represents me in [enter your state’s name].” The results vary by state, but, generally speaking, you’ll want to click on a “.gov” website. Once on the appropriate site, you can enter your zip code to find the names of your state legislators.
Example: If you typed, “Who represents me in Texas” into your search bar, the first result is https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/. When you visit that website, simply enter your address and click “Find”. The results will include all your state legislators.
If I have a question about, or interest in, a specific bill or piece of legislation, how can I contact my state legislator?
Because dyslexia laws change often and vary from state to state, it is important for those of us in the field of dyslexia to stay up-to-date with recent legislature or contact our state legislators about the latest issues. If you wish to contact your state legislators, here is a sample letter to your state senator and a sample letter to your state representative to help get you started.
How do I invite my state legislator to visit my center or school?
Once you have identified who your state legislator is, contact their district office. Ask to speak either to the legislator’s chief of staff or designated education staff member. Identify yourself and the name of your center or school. Tell them you would like to extend an invitation to visit your school or center to learn more about dyslexia.
During a legislative visit, provide the history of your center or school, the number of children with dyslexia you serve, the impact you are making in the community, and information about the Academic Language Therapy Association. Also, if your state has a dyslexia simulation kit, you could have the legislator “experience” dyslexia using a few of the dyslexia simulation stations. Have a one-page information sheet about dyslexia that the legislator can take back to the office.
Address the member of the state Senate as Senator (name), and address a member of the state House of Representatives as Representative (name). For national legislators, address a member of the House of Representatives as Congressman (name) and a member of the Senate as Senator (name).
Thank the legislators for their interest in dyslexia and related disorders.
Are there any designated days or months for dyslexia awareness?
October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. This month is a wonderful opportunity for schools, centers, and ALTA Chapters to schedule events that heighten awareness of dyslexia.
Examples: Host an event for school administrators to “experience” dyslexia through dyslexia simulation stations, or host an event in your community where individuals with dyslexia, or parents of children with dyslexia, share their stories.
If you have any questions regarding legislation, contact ALTA’s Legislative Committee Co-Chairs, Janie Harvey or Linda Gladden.