Equality is about sameness, it promotes fairness and justice by giving everyone the same thing. BUT it can only work if everyone starts from the same place. In the example on the left, equality only works if everyone is the same height.
Equity is about fairness, it’s about making sure people get access to the same opportunities. In the example on the right, because of varying height, each person gets what he needs to remove barriers to participation.
~ Source Unknown.
The one thing that has been stressed by the Representatives’ aides is that parents need to tell their story of why we need dyslexia supported in the educational system. Please send emails, make phone calls, and fill out the following online petitions that give you the opportunity to tell your story. Teaching children to read is a general education issue, not a special education issue alone. Teachers need professional development in understanding dyslexia and how to better accommodate and teach students with dyslexia.
Surprisingly, the most opposition to Cassidy’s amendment came from the disability community as they felt that the amendment was raising dyslexia above all over disabilities. The disability community appears to want to treat all students with disabilities equally, but treating everyone equally does not provide fairness as described in the graphic above. Even among the disability community there is a general lack of understanding of what dyslexia is, and that the disabling effects of dyslexia can be prevented by providing early identification and appropriate, evidence based instruction in Structured Literacy.
What other disability can, for the most part, be “prevented” solely by educational instruction? Not only is Structured Literacy crucial for the success of students with dyslexia and other underlying language learning problems, but it improves the literacy skills of ALL students. Why would anyone not want to improve literacy skills for all students?
An example of a mom telling her story: The Simple Message I Brought to Congress: My Son’s Story
Online petitions with the opportunity to tell your story:
- Dyslexic Advantage’s More Support for Dyslexia in Public Schools
- NCLD’s Tell Congress: Set High Expectations For Our Kids
Also, please consider contacting the National Parent Teacher Association. Below is an excerpt we received in response to a letter sent questioning why they opposed the Cassidy dyslexia amendment:
National PTA did not support a couple of Senator Cassidy’s amendments because they singled out dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities over the other 12 disability categories in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA provides definitions of 13 disability categories, including “specific learning disability” which dyslexia falls under. National PTA believes special treatment or consideration should not be provided to children in any one specific disability category at the exclusion of the other categories defined in the IDEA. PTA has long believed that every child—regardless of his or her disability—has the right of access to a high quality education and must be provided with the instruction, services and resources that will enable him/her to reach his/her full potential.
We remain committed to ensuring that all students with a disability have access to, and receive the resources and supports that they need.
For more information, please see: