Westerman Introduces Bipartisan Dyslexia Awareness Month Resolution
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Dyslexia Caucus Co-Chairs Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), along with U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), introduced a bipartisan resolution calling on Congress to support the designation of October 2019 as National Dyslexia Awareness Month. U.S. Reps. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Larry Bucshon (D-Ind.), French Hill (R-Ark.), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Ann Kuster (D-N.H.), Kendra Horn (D-Okla.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) joined the resolution as original cosponsors.
“Through my wife’s experiences as a special education teacher, I’ve seen just how important dyslexia awareness and advocacy needs to be,” Westerman said. “Many parents and teachers aren’t aware of the reading, educational and social implications dyslexia can have on a student. Both federal and local governments should be using every tool at their disposal to raise awareness for dyslexia. That’s why Dyslexia Awareness Month is so important. I encourage my colleagues in Congress to join the bipartisan Dyslexia Caucus to continue advocating on behalf of every person who has dyslexia.”
“I began my work in public service to ensure that individuals with dyslexia, like my daughter, would have the resources they needed to live up to their full potential,” Brownley said. “By recognizing October as Dyslexia Awareness Month, we bring attention to the unique learning challenges of people with dyslexia, so that they have the tools they need to thrive. As the Co-Chair of the Congressional Dyslexia Caucus, I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to raise awareness and help all those with dyslexia to succeed.”
“My oldest daughter has dyslexia, so bringing greater awareness to dyslexia is something I hold dear to my heart,” Bucshon said. “Through our family’s personal experience with dyslexia, I understand how important it is to identify children with dyslexia as early as possible and to get them the resources and support they need to ensure that dyslexia does not hinder their potential. By making October National Dyslexia Awareness Month, I hope we can help students, teachers, and parents across the nation be more informed, and shine a brighter light on this learning disability and help those with dyslexia get the help they need to live up to their full potential.”
“Dyslexia is an issue that is very important to me and my family,” Palazzo said. “Having witnessed the challenges that dyslexia can impose on someone’s everyday life, I know that by adopting this resolution we will raise awareness on the issue and help others understand dyslexia. I am grateful to be part of the Dyslexia Caucus and to actively advocate for such a commonly stigmatized disorder.”
“Before being elected to serve in Congress, I was a public school teacher for over 20 years, so I saw for myself the challenges that students face every single day,” Takano said. “Now, I am committed to ensuring that all students in this country, regardless of ability, have a chance to succeed in the classroom and beyond. That’s why I support recognizing October as Dyslexia Awareness month – so that we can all come together to raise awareness and find solutions to help individuals with dyslexia access the tools and resources they need to achieve their full potential. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to further this effort.”
“People living with dyslexia are smart, but too often bullied or made fun of because they learn differently,” Kuster said. “I’m pleased to join this effort to formally designate October as Dyslexia Awareness Month. By raising awareness about this disability, we can end stigmatization and ensure support and treatment are available to people struggling with this condition. I urge House leadership to swiftly bring this commonsense measure to a vote.”
“I’m proud to join my colleagues in recognizing National Dyslexia Awareness Month,” Horn said. “It’s an important step to remove stigma and encourage schools to help all students succeed. Growing up in a home that valued education and with both a dad and brother with dyslexia, this hits close to home. I know firsthand why we must ensure that students have the support and tools they need to not only survive, but thrive at school and in life.”
“As the son of a kindergarten teacher, I was fortunate to have an early foundation of learning and literacy,” Stivers said. “All children deserve that same foundation, and we cannot allow dyslexia to hold back some of our kids. I’m proud to cosponsor this resolution to raise awareness for dyslexia and help kids get the tools they need to thrive.”
While many parents and educators have recognized October as National Dyslexia Awareness Month, Congress must still formally designate the month each year. This resolution represents the dedication of members of both parties in Congress to recognize and address the significant educational implications of dyslexia that affect one in five people in America.
Click here to read the full resolution.