Legislative Updates

11/2/15:      Recently LDA joined with the Council of Administrators of Special Education and a number of other groups in a letter to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education, urging caution in issuing new guidance regarding the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and other medical terms in the context of IDEA procedures.  This was in response to a letter sent by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) with the concern they had received calls from some parents who were told by the term “dyslexia” could not be used on IEPs.

OSEP has now issued a letter to States clearly stating there is nothing in the IDEA that prohibits the use of these terms, which are “conditions that could qualify a child as a child with a specific learning disability” under the IDEA.  However, the letter also makes clear that a full and comprehensive evaluation must be conducted to determine if the child meets the criteria for the category of specific learning disabilities or any other of the disabilities listed in the IDEA.  OSEP also notes local school districts must address the unique educational needs of children, which may determine whether is is appropriate to use terms such as dyslexia on the student’s individualized education program.  In addition, the letter references the fact that services or accommodations must not be based “solely on the disability category in which the child has been classified or the specific condition underlying the child’s disability classification.”

The CASE/LDA letter and OSEP’s response may be found below:

CASE/LDA letter           OSEP Response

Myrna Mandlawitz
LDA Policy Director

Links for contacting Iowa legislators can be found here.

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