State and Federal Laws Relating to Dyslexia

  • Federal and Oregon laws create minimum requirements for Oregon public schools in serving students with dyslexia.  The following are key pieces of state and federal legislation and guidance that govern our work.

    The Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 612 in 2015. SB 612 did the following:

    • Required the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to designate a Dyslexia Specialist to provide school districts with support and resources to assist students with dyslexia and their families

    • Required ODE to develop and communicate annually a list of training opportunities for districts related to dyslexia

    • Required each school district to ensure that at least one K-5 teacher in each K-5 school receives training related to dyslexia

    • Required ODE to develop a plan to ensure that every student who is first enrolled at a public school in the state for kindergarten or first grade receives a screening for risk factors of dyslexia. The plan was developed and presented to the legislature in September of 2016

    The Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 1003 in 2017.  SB 1003 did the following:

    • Carried forward the dyslexia-related training requirements from SB 612

    • Extended the deadline for completion of the training

    • Included requirements for districts to universally screen for risk factors of dyslexia in kindergarten

    • Required ODE to develop guidance for districts regarding instructional support for students who demonstrate risk of reading difficulties, including dyslexia

    • Required ODE to submit a report to the legislature related to best practices for screening and instructional support

    IDEA

    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities and ensures special education and related services to those children.  The IDEA governs how public schools provide early intervention, special education, and related services to eligible students with disabilities.

    Section 504

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability.  Under Section 504, students with disabilities have the right to reasonable accommodations.

    Federal Guidance

    The U.S. Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague” letter on October 23, 2015, clarifying the responsibilities of educators in providing services to students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The letter clarifies that “there is nothing in the IDEA that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in the IDEA evaluation, eligibility determinations, or IEP documents.”