Off to a Great Start: House Dyslexia Caucus Names Co-Chairs

Written by Meghan Casey, Policy Research & Advocacy Associate | 5 years ago

The U.S. House of Representatives Dyslexia Caucus has announced the co-chairs for the 114th Congress. Returning as co-chair this Congress is Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), who will be joined by co-chair Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), replacing former co-chair Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) (who recently won a seat in the Senate). NCLD is pleased that the Dyslexia Caucus has taken steps so quickly in the 114th Congress to establish leadership and prepare the Caucus for a productive term. We applaud Reps. Brownley and Smith for taking on these leadership roles and look forward to working with them.

In September, as Chair for the House Science, Space, & Technology Committee, Rep. Smith held a hearing on “The Science of Dyslexia,” immediately after which he attended and spoke at NCLD’s luncheon for parents and advocates. Smith states, “I have realized the importance of continued dyslexia research as well as the need for early detection and intervention in our schools. My hope is that this caucus will continue to play a key role in educating our colleagues in Congress and the public about dyslexia. Changing the way we approach dyslexia—as possibility rather than disability—can enhance opportunities and brighten futures for millions.”

Rep. Brownley, a parent of a child with dyslexia, is one of many members of Congress who shared their personal stories at the September hearing. Rep. Brownley explains, “As the mother of a daughter with dyslexia, I understand all too well the challenges that these uniquely talented and gifted individuals face. By bringing together individuals with dyslexia, community advocates, scientists, educators, and policymakers, the Caucus can play an important role in raising awareness about dyslexia, which affects millions of Americans.”

The 114th Congress is off to a running start and it is encouraging to see that the champions for students with learning and attention issues are already hard at work to make a difference. NCLD looks forward to working with Representatives Brownley and Smith in their roles as co-chair of the Dyslexia Caucus.