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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

"Dear Colleague" - OSER Guidance on Dyslexia

From the U.S. Department of Education
Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services

October 23, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) released a letter yesterday giving guidance to states and schools on the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in evaluations, eligibility determinations, and IEP documents.

The letter states:

“Ensuring a high-quality education for children with specific learning disabilities is a critical responsibility for all of us. I write today to focus primarily on the unique educational needs of children with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia, which are conditions that could qualify a child as a child with a specific learning disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) has received communications from stakeholders, including parents, advocacy groups, and national disability organizations, who believe that State and local educational agencies (SEAs and LEAs) are reluctant to reference or use dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in evaluations, eligibility determinations, or in developing the individualized education program (IEP) under the IDEA.

The purpose of this letter is to clarify that there is nothing in the IDEA that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in IDEA evaluation, eligibility determination, or IEP documents.”

The letter ends by stating, “Finally, in ensuring the provisions of the free appropriate public education, OSERS encourages SEAs to remind their LEAs of the importance of addressing the unique educational needs of children with specific learning disabilities resulting from dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia during IEP team meetings and other meetings with parents under IDEA.”

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