Westerman Hosts Panel Discussion on Dyslexia Science, Advocacy

July 9, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) hosted a briefing on dyslexia awareness and advocacy, titled “The Science of Reading: Understanding Dyslexia.” The event featured doctors, educators and activists, and followed the Say Dyslexia rally in front of the U.S. Capitol. Westerman gave the following remarks:

“As you all so well know, up to 43 million Americans suffer with the learning disability of dyslexia. It’s important to understand that this disability in no way affects an individual’s intelligence. As a matter of fact, some of the most brilliant people we know of or have seen in history are people who had dyslexia. Those with dyslexia simply need to be taught how to read in a different way, and students with dyslexia need to be identified early in their education so they can get access to the proper resources to help them succeed…

“You know, there’s a Scripture that says, ‘He who knows what the right thing to do is and doesn’t do it, to him that’s a sin,’ and dyslexia is one of those things that we know the right thing to do. We must insist that schools use our tax dollars to do the right thing, to implement the science of reading so that everyone can learn to read, and they can then read to learn. With your help and advocacy we can make real change for our students, and change the way future generations teach and learn how to read.”

Background:

Westerman chairs the House Dyslexia Caucus with U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.). This briefing was part of the Caucus’s work to address dyslexia issues on the congressional level. The Caucus reaches across party lines to educate members of the public about dyslexia, as well as identify policies that will support individuals as they overcome dyslexia and pursue educational and career opportunities.

Participants in the panel discussion included:

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, co-chair of the House Dyslexia Caucus

Brent Sopel, Stanley Cup winner and founder of the Sopel Foundation

Dr. Christy Hovanetz, senior policy fellow at ExcelinEd

Katherine Schantz, head of school at Lab School of Washington

Dr. Gina Forchelli, child psychologist at MassGeneral Hospital and instructor at Harvard Medical School

Dr. Brett Miller, learning disabilities program director at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

To watch the full event, click here.

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