NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced on Thursday a comprehensive approach to aid public school students with dyslexia.
All public school students across the city will be assessed for dyslexia. Students diagnosed with the learning disability will receive support from their school and take part in special programs.
“As a student, I struggled with identifying my dyslexia until long after leaving the public school system,” Adams said. “By changing the way we approach dyslexia, we can unlock the untapped potential in students who may feel insecure about their dyslexia or any other language-based learning disabilities they may have.”
Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks said the early screenings will allow students to have access to resources they need as early as possible. Starting in the fall, the DOE will pilot its initiative within 80 elementary and 80 middle schools.
Students will participate in short, adaptive literacy screeners, which will identify students at risk for dyslexia. Targeted interventions will be provided to students who need them. City officials said there will be a selection of phonics programs, which will supplement the current core curriculum in schools, for principals to choose from.
City officials also said that Literacy Academy Collective in P.S. 161 in the Bronx and Lab School for Family Literacy in P.S. 125 in Manhattan will offer specialized programs for students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities. They said that by next year, all teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade will participate in Made by Dyslexia’s two-hour introductory training.
Advocates showed their support for Adams’ announcement.
“The plans announced today could have a transformative impact if implemented well,” Kim Sweet, executive director of Advocates for Children of New York, said in a statement, “and we’re looking forward to digging into the details and working with the DOE to bring them to fruition so that all children learn to read, no matter where they go to school.”
Adams said that New York City will host the World Dyslexia Assembly in the spring of 2023, succeeding this year’s assembly in Stockholm, Sweden.