Dyslexia bills look to help families throughout Wisconsin

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin is one of two states in the U.S now without any laws protecting struggling readers with dyslexia. Thousands of families hope to change that with two bills in the legislature right now.

Photo Source: MGN

Action 2 News spoke to Lisa Martin, mom of two, who said she knew something was up when her daughter wasn't catching on to the concept of letters and reading at an early age.

“We had the school evaluate her and they said yeah there is a learning disability there in reading, and so they provided interventions and things like that, but it wasn't enough because they weren't doing the right things for dyslexia,” said Martin.

At 17 her daughter has since found resources outside of school but its Martin’s schools will already be equipped to help kids with dyslexia.

As a result of a study, the Joint Legislative Council will have hearings on two bills. One hopes to provide the state with a dyslexia specialist to help the 30,000 kids in Wisconsin diagnosed with the learning disability.

“It's someone that the school districts can go to, saying ‘okay we want to implement this, what's the right way to do it’, just someone to go back to, in DPI or wherever that specialist would be,” said Martin.

The other bill will be heard on April 18th. It’s looking to create a dyslexia handbook for teachers and schools to use as a guide. It’s training the state does not require educators to take.

Martin said much like other educational movements led by families, they won't rest until changes are made.

“It's the families that are really going to drive this, and have driven it especially this bill telling their stories, and what's going on to make people aware, like ‘wow this is really a big thing,’” said Martin.