Rationale for the program
The Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia Knowledge and Practice addresses a critical area of need in Rhode Island and elsewhere. In 2016, RI Governor Gina Raimondo signed into law H 7052, amending the Rhode Island Literacy and Drop Out Prevention Act to “formally address dyslexia” (Section 16-67- 2.6). Many other states, including our NE neighbors MA, CT, NH, VT, and ME, also have such legislation.
Yet, states, districts, schools, and teachers struggle to meet the needs of students with dyslexia within our classrooms. This is largely due to research* suggesting that typical instruction provided most children does not address the needs of students with dyslexia, who require systematic, structured, multi-sensory learning.
Additionally, teachers require further professional development around dyslexia and the types of instruction** needed for students with dyslexia to succeed. Estimates of the prevalence of dyslexia vary, but most cite a range of 5-10% of the population.
Given that Rhode Island has approximately 142,000 students attending its public schools, approximately 41,500 of those residing in the urban core (http://infoworks.ride.ri.gov/), we can estimate that approximately 7,00-14,000 children (2,000-4,000 in the urban core) have dyslexia.
The Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia Knowledge and Practice addresses will provide teachers and others knowledge and skills needed to instruct these students and others with language-based learning difficulties (LBLD).