House Approves READ Act for Dyslexia Research

The House of Representatives Monday unanimously approved the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act (READ Act) (H.R. 3033), a bipartisan bill. The Caucus is comprised of over 100 Members of Congress and is dedicated to increasing public awareness about dyslexia and ensuring all students have equal educational opportunities. Dyslexia affects an estimated 8.5 million school children and one in six Americans in some form.

Despite the prevalence of dyslexia, many Americans remain undiagnosed, untreated and silently struggle at school or work. Too many children undiagnosed with dyslexia have difficulties in the classroom and sometimes drop out of school and face uncertain futures. Today we can shine a light on dyslexia and help millions of Americans have a brighter and more prosperous future. We need to enable those with dyslexia to achieve their maximum potential. The READ Act will help accomplish this.

I also have had the pleasure of meeting an Austin, Texas, resident Robbi Cooper and her son Ben. They shared many stories with me about the hardships they have faced in their attempts to ensure Ben receives the best education possible. Ben has even taken his abilities one step further by becoming an advocate and has traveled to D.C. numerous times to lobby Congress so others can learn from his experiences.

Robbi and Ben Cooper were able to join me in the House chamber for passage of the READ Act. The READ Act supports important research to further our understanding of dyslexia, including better methods for early detection and teacher training. The bill passed out of Committee on October 8, 2015 with unanimous support.

While the READ Act does not increase federal spending, it requires the president’s annual budget request to Congress to include a line item for the Research in Disabilities Education program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). It also requires the NSF to devote at least $5 million annually to dyslexia research, which would focus on best practices in the following areas:

  • Early identification of children and students with dyslexia
  • Professional development about dyslexia for teachers and administrators 
  • Curricula development and evidence-based educational tools for children with dyslexia

The READ Act authorizes multi-directorate, merit-reviewed, and competitively awarded dyslexia research projects using funds appropriated for the NSF Research and Related Activities account and the Education and Human Resources Directorate.


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