#SayDyslexia Rally in D.C. on July 9th 

The #sayDyslexia Rally is next week! Join parents, students, educators, and advocates from around the country on July 9th, 2019 for the 3rd Annual #SayDyslexia Rally on Capitol Hill. Members and supporters of DDMD will come together with the national event organizers and attendees to celebrate our successes and re-energize our efforts to advocate for change. This is not a fundraising event. This is purely an awareness raising event. Send questions to

Please note that DDMD is not the host of this event, but several county chapters have members attending and have announced plans to meet in D.C. Check with your local leaders for more information. 
Important links for the event: 
#sayDyslexia Rally Website with Links to Program Details
Podcast Episode Highlights the Origin and Mission of DDMD: Interview with Laura Schultz

Listen to the recent podcast hosted by Kate Bryan of 1 Girl Revolution.

In this episode, DDMD founder Laura Schultz discusses her personal dyslexia journey and outlines the history of Decoding Dyslexia. 

Laura's passion and dedication provide inspiration and are evident in the interview. Be a part of the next chapter of DDMD. Get involved today!  
Decoding Dyslexia MD County Chapter Contact Information


On December 4, 2019, the Maryland State Department of Eduction recommended to the Maryland State Board of Education that a separate reading test be required for the initial certification of Early Childhood, Elementary Education, ESOL, and Special Education Teachers (birth-grade 3, grades 1-8 and grades 6-12)

The issue stated was that Maryland does not currently require a separate foundations of reading test; instead it is an option to be used in lieu of the literacy/reading coursework.

The test recommended was Teaching Reading:Elementary Education ( 5205, if available, or the current 5203) 

This test:

  • Focuses on the knowledge and skills a beginning teacher must have to support reading and writing development.
  • Uses the five essential components of effective reading instruction as identified by the National Reading Panel:  phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency , and comprehension.
  • Assesses understanding of the science of teaching reading and the relationship between reading skills and written instruction since receptive and productive literacy are interrelated.
  • Acknowledges multiple approaches to pedagogy used in tandem with content.

The Maryland State Department of Education asked the Board to take action to require this test,  effective July 1, 2019. The qualifying score was to be determined after an April 2019 multistate standard setting study.

Written and provided to DDMD by Barbara Donick, Right to Read Maryland .

DDMD appreciates the support and collaboration with Right to Read Maryland. 

Keep Up to Date on the State Board Meetings, Agendas, and Minutes
What is Your Most Useful Tool for Raising Dyslexia Awareness in Schools?
Local and state DDMD leaders volunteer their time to assist Maryland families, support local school systems, and advocate for reading instruction grounded in science. Chapter leaders regularly receive emails and phone calls from parents and teachers of students who struggle to read. These concerned individuals have questions about reading assessments, dyslexia identification, literacy instruction, and classroom accommodations. DDMD leaders rely on several key documents when having conversations with inquiring community members and encourage all to become acquainted with the content of the items listed below.

This summer is a great time to read, refresh your knowledge, and gain a deeper understanding of several important publications. Take some time to look at:
(If you only have time to click on one link, reading or rereading this TAB will be helpful to you and your support team. You can also link to the 5 Questions document separately.)
Decoding Dyslexia Maryland's website also has guides on how to use several of these documents. Continue to follow DDMD on Facebook and Twitter for updates and access additional resources to build on the information found in these publications.
Maryland Dyslexia Resources: Task Force Report, MSDE Technical Assistance Bulletin and Data

News from Around Maryland

NEWS RELEASE: FCPS Prepares Structured Literacy Specialists 

Teachers Train to Address Dyslexia
June 7, 2019  Frederick County Public Schools is a state leader in preparing reading teachers to deliver structured literacy intervention to struggling readers in every school. In the rigorous 10-month training-and-supervision practicum, the first group of 41 teachers is one exam away from national recognition as dually certified academic language and dyslexia practitioners.

Board of Education President Brad W. Young, Vice President Joy Schaefer, and member Karen Yoho attended the recent FCPS Language Foundations Celebration to recognize the teachers’ work and acknowledge those involved in the structured literacy specialist preparation. The FCPS initiative aims to train more than 120 teachers in the Orton-Gillingham based reading-intervention methods.

Just one year into the program, teachers are reporting significant gains in their students’ reading performance: “One day we were doing a reading benchmark assessment, and one of the students crushed it! The other students in the group started cheering, and we had such a celebration! The student then looked at me and said, ‘Thank you for teaching my brain how to read. Maybe I am smart.’ That student is reading every night at home. He is the biggest cheerleader for peers, willing to do whatever it takes to reach his reading goals.”

A parent shared her child’s success story: “For the first time in his school career he is asking to go pick out books at the library. Every night he comes home from school and goes straight to his room to read. He has never done that before. Thank you so much for believing in my child!”

FCPS has upgraded and expanded reading-intervention offerings, incorporated a new evidence-based reading screener, and hired dyslexia therapists to provide the most intensive support available for students struggling to read. The school system continues to evaluate and improve the elementary language arts program.
Staff from the Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center are helping deliver the accredited professional development and to supervise preparation of teachers for national certification. FCPS staff instrumental in program planning and delivery are Dr. Jamie Aliveto, Jennifer Bingman and Margaret Hawk.
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Media Reps:  For more information, please contact
FCPS Director of System Accountability and School Improvement
Dr. Jamie Aliveto
Center Maryland's Morning Rundown on June 20, 2019 included the following synopsis: 

3 Ways Educators Nationwide are Working to Disrupt Dyslexia

"A number of states and districts are embracing more research- and science-based approaches to literacy instruction amid growing awareness of the reading disability. Arkansas is working to provide support for students with dyslexia through efforts to retrain teachers and change the way reading instruction is delivered, with a focus on methods based on the science of how students learn to read. That shift to change how reading instruction is served isn't happening in every state, however, despite dyslexia affecting one in 10 people worldwide, according to a 2014 report from Dyslexia International. In some cases, parents say they can’t even use the word when speaking with their child’s school, Nancy Duggan, executive director of Decoding Dyslexia Massachusetts, told Education Dive. (EducationDive)"

St. Mary's County, MD is highlighted in the full story by author Lauren Barack. Read the article to learn about the innovative approach in St. Mary's County Public Schools. 

On June 25, 2019 Here and Now  (WBUR) aired, Maryland Law Aims To Identify Reading Disorders Early. Does It Go Far Enough?, by Jenny Abamu. The segment featured Montgomery County, MD. Listen and join the discussion. You can find DDMD's coverage of the original WAMU story in our June newsletter
DDMD Newsletter Archive: Catch up on Past Issues
Just a few more updates
  • The IDA publishes links they like. Take time to explore the latest set highlighted by the organization and sign up for the IDA's newsletter.  
  • MSDE is hosting summer workshops for Maryland educators. Registration is open. 

Dyslexia Community Events &
Newsletter Content
  • Click on the links or images below to learn more about these dyslexia related events. Please confirm date, time, and location with the host organization.
  • Do you know of upcoming dyslexia related events that DDMD members may be interested in attending and should be included in upcoming newsletters?
  • Send the information to 

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