RHINELANDER, WI (WSAU-WXPR) -- Wisconsin is just one of four states without legislation covering dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words . Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language.
Donna Hejtmanek of Harshaw is a reading specialist and educator and told WXPR radio in Rhinelander the legislature's Joint Legislative Council is meeting next week to vote on forwarding legislation to help people with dyslexia. The bills relate to developing a Dyslexia Guidebook and to employing a position within the Department of Public Instruction regarding dyslexia. "It is something very needed in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, Wisconsin remains one of the last four states in the nation that does not have dyslexia legislation."
Hejtmanek says up to twenty percent of the student population has dyslexia. She says educators don't have the understanding to identify and treat the disability. "Many, if not most, schools refuse to use the word dyslexia, even though it has been mandated through federal legislation that there's no reason that we can't say the word dyslexia. It's a very frustrating situation for us educators who want to improve what is happening for treatment of dyslexia."
Donna Hejtmanek says interested citizens should contact their legislators to support the legislation.