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Colorado Dyslexia

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is committed to building upon the current framework of early literacy policy in Colorado, the Reading To Ensure Academic Development Act (READ Act), to support students in both general and special education to meet important reading outcomes. 

CDE is committed to: 

  • Bringing together stakeholders interested in supporting students who struggle with reading including those with dyslexia.
  • Educating stakeholders on reading difficulties including dyslexia.
  • Strengthening relationships with and among stakeholders interested in early literacy.

For the latest news join the Colorado Dyslexia Stakeholder email list. To sign-up email

What is dyslexia? 

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) along with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) adopted the following definition of dyslexia. 

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”


2018 READ Conference

The Office of Literacy along with the Exceptional Student Services Unit at CDE will be hosting our fourth annual READing Conference on Thursday and Friday, September 27th and 28th, 2018.

  • This conference is designed to support the implementation of evidence based reading instruction. 
  • The target audience is K-3 educators including general education teachers, special education specialists, reading coaches, reading interventionists, English Language Development specialists, principals and school leadership teams.
  • The focus of the conference will be on direct and explicit instruction for all students including:  English Learners, emerging readers and struggling readers.

For further details please click here.

November is Family Literacy Month! 

Check out the following highlighted resources to help support building family literacy:

  • National Family Literacy Month | Resources
    To help you celebrate National Family Literacy Month, review this collection popular educational tools and resources designed to help families, educators, community leaders and librarians facilitate two-generation learning.
  • A Child Becomes a Reader: Proven Ideas from Research for Parents (Kindergarten through third-grade)
    Partnership for Reading: This booklet describes activities that parents can do with their children to improve reading skills at specific ages from kindergarten through third grade.

October 2017 is Dyslexia Awareness Month

Governor Hickenlooper has proclaimed October to be Dyslexia Awareness Month in the State of Colorado.

Understanding Dyslexia

A Scientific Approach to Reading and Reading Disabilities

Keynote presentation handout – (PDF)

In March of 2017, the department hosted a forum with Jack M. Fletcher, Ph.D. from the Department of Psychology University of Houston. His presentation is the foundation of messaging and work in educating stakeholders on reading difficulties including dyslexia.

Additional Resources

The following are resources sorted by topic to assist educators and families in support of students with reading difficulties including dyslexia.

Colorado Department of Education - Exceptional Student Service Unit (ESSU)

Specific Learning Disabilities

For Parents

Screening for Risk:

Legislation for at-risk readers, including those with dyslexia

State Legislation

Colorado passed House Bill 08-1223 (C.R.S.22-2-133)  Concerning the Provision of Technical Assistance Pertaining to Colorado Public School Students with Literacy Challenges that Include Dyslexia, which encourages the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to provide support and training to educators in literacy. Specifically, the statute promotes technical assistance and training in the assessment and scientifically based interventions for students with literacy challenges, including dyslexia.

The Department of Education provides an annual report to the education committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Colorado passed House Bill 12-1238, The READ Act. The Colorado Reading To Ensure Academic Development Act (Colorado READ Act) was passed by the Colorado Legislature during the 2012 legislative session. The READ Act repeals the Colorado Basic Literacy Act (CBLA) as of July 1, 2013, keeping many of the elements of CBLA such as a focus on K-3 literacy, assessment and individual plans for students reading below grade level. The READ Act differs from CBLA by focusing on students identified as having a significant reading deficiency, delineating requirements for parent communication and providing funding to support intervention. Other components of the Colorado READ Act include a competitive Early Literacy Grant and a resource bank of assessments, instructional programming and professional development.

Federal Legislation

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees all children with identified educational disabilities access to a free and appropriate public education.

The Exceptional Children’s Educational Act (ECEA) provides Colorado more detail and added rights and protections to IDEA.

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Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
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