President Obama signed into law a bipartisan measure that directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to set aside at least $2.5 million in its annual budget for dyslexia research, with a focus on early identification of children and students, professional development for teachers and administrators, and curricula development and evidence-based educational tools.
According to the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act (H.R. 3033), or READ Act, as many as 8.5 million American school children may have dyslexia.
“Despite the prevalence of dyslexia, many Americans remain undiagnosed, untreated and silently struggle at school or work,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who introduced the READ Act last July with Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA). “We need to enable those with dyslexia to achieve their maximum potential. I am glad that the House and Senate were able to work together and send the president a good bipartisan bill to help accomplish this goal.”
Smith (R-TX) and Brownley (D-CA) are co-chairs of the Congressional Dyslexia Caucus, which is dedicated to increasing public awareness of dyslexia.
Under the new law, NSF will be required to begin its dyslexia research the fiscal year starting October 1, 2016. The READ Act will sunset on September 30, 2021.