Dyslexia legislation passes - Local advocate explains the bill

An advocate behind the legislation breaks down some of the ways it will help kids with dyslexia.
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 12:43 AM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The dyslexia legislation that local advocates have been pushing to be implemented for West Virginia schools has officially passed. It ended up getting roped into a larger bill concerning both literacy and numeracy.

WTAP caught up with one of the advocates behind the legislation about the dyslexia portion of the bill.

Local teacher Amy Ramsburg said finding out the legislation passed was surreal.

“We got so much more than we wanted. It was so much more than I ever thought we would get in the first year so this was…it was very exciting,” she said.

According to Ramsburg, one of the major wins of the legislation is the now required literacy screeners. These will flag for indicators of dyslexia. Ramsburg’s told WTAP that she believes dyslexia is underdiagnosed.

“That was our big goal - to get the screenings,” she said.

Students in kindergarten through third grade will be screened at least twice a year.

“If any of the screeners flag some indications of dyslexia, then they would be given the proper intervention,” Ramsburg explained.

Further steps will be taken if intervention doesn’t work, including testing for dyslexia if deemed necessary.

The bill also focuses on teachers. Ramsburg said it requires teachers in kindergarten through third grade to be trained on dyslexia.

“They’ll get training on the science of reading and indicators of dyslexia, and instructional strategies with dyslexia, and accommodations, and things to look for,” she said.

The legislation doesn’t leave out older kids. It gives teachers an avenue to intervene.

“Maybe at the high school level, I see they’re really struggling with reading, I can request for them to be given a screener,” Ramsburg said.

There are multiple other components of the bill. To read the final bill, click here.

For the backstory on why local advocates were pushing for this legislation, click here.