8/1/2017 – The MLO Minute: Caitlin McAndrews speaks to various stakeholders on Capitol Hill
This summer, Caitlin McAndrews spoke at Decoding Dyslexia’s program, Dyslexia Hill Days, four days of advocacy for kids with dyslexia and their families on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Caitlin spoke to a group of about 60 parents, students, advocates, Congressional staffers, and others on the topic of the new Supreme Court decision in Endrew F. and areas where the theory of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) does not align with practice across the states. Her talk touched on problems with eligibility determinations for students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, state differences in adjudication of special education disputes, and IDEA 2004’s demand for more research-based instruction. Caitlin gave examples of where special education in practice has fallen short of the promises made by IDEA 2004, particularly in the faithful delivery of evidence based programs for kids with disabilities.
Following the talk, Caitlin moderated the Youth Panel, which included five young people ages 12-18 who spoke about their experiences with dyslexia in school. They offered poignant stories and words of advice for educators, lawmakers, policy makers, and parents on the importance of identifying reading disabilities early, delivering appropriate instruction — not just accommodations, and identifying and working toward a child’s individual potential. The youths enjoyed the opportunities to tell their stories and share their successes and struggles with attendees, leaving few dry eyes in the room! See www.decodingdyslexia.net for more information.