📷Press Release–Brampton, ON–January 14, 2020–Grassroots parents group, Decoding Dyslexia Ontario, says the Right to Read public hearings are an important opportunity to bring to light the barriers faced by thousands of children with reading disabilities in public schools across the province.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has invited students with reading disabilities, and their parents, to participate in public hearings in Brampton, London, Thunder Bay and Ottawa. Hundreds have already completed the OHRC’s online survey since the Right to Read inquiry was launched on October 3, 2019.
“The Right to Read inquiry is an historic opportunity to recognize the discrimination faced by students with reading disabilities, of which dyslexia is the most common, in Ontario schools,” says Lark Barker, President of Decoding Dyslexia Ontario. “The inquiry will hear how so many parents struggle to access timely psycho-educational assessments, appropriate reading remediation, accessible in-class instruction and basic accommodations for their children.”
Students with dyslexia can learn to read with effective reading instruction. Without this, students with dyslexia show very sizeable education achievement gaps and outcomes in comparison with neurotypical students in Ontario. They also experience higher rates of mental health challenges, such as anxiety and depression.
The OHRC clearly states that “learning to read is not a privilege, it is a right.” Decoding Dyslexia Ontario applauds the OHRC’s inquiry into the right to read in our public education system, and endorses their focus on five benchmarks that are part of an effective systematic approach to teach all students to read:
- Universal design for learning (UDL), including core curriculum that works for everyone
- Mandatory early screening in kindergarten
- Timely, effective, evidence-based reading intervention programs to get every student reading by the end of third grade
- Effective accommodation, and
- Psycho-educational assessments (if required)
Representatives from Decoding Dyslexia Ontario will be attending the public hearings, and will also make a written submission.
Dyslexia is the most common learning disability, affecting approximately 6%-17% of children in our province. That’s at least 2 children in every classroom who struggle to learn to read with little to no support.Founded in 2015, Decoding Dyslexia Ontario is a parent-led, non-profit organization concerned with the limited understanding of dyslexia within Ontario’s public education system and its education stakeholders. It raises dyslexia awareness, empowers families to support their children who are dyslexic, and shares best practices regarding identification, remediation and support for students with dyslexia.