How Parents of Dyslexic Kids Took to Their Statehouses and Won


A decade ago, just five states had any laws that mentioned dyslexia. Now if AB-110–a modest bill about developing a dyslexia guidebook–passes the Wisconsin senate and is signed by the governor, that state will become the 46th to have legislation specifically addressing the needs of children with that condition. This year alone, according to the website Dyslegia, more than 75 dyslexia-related bills are expected to be introduced in state legislatures.

Why the wave of laws around this learning disability? Legal experts, teachers and literacy advocates point to one organization in particular: Decoding Dyslexia, a decentralized group of parents who have used social media and online resources to mobilize, raise awareness, and lobby state and federal legislators. “They’re well organized,” says Jasmine E. Harris, a professor at University of California, Davis, School of Law who specializes in disability law. “They’ve got the time to do it. They’ve got the money and resources.”

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