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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.”

New Resource - Dyslexia Fact Sheet

CDE's Literacy Office in partnership with the CO Dyslexia Focus Group have created a Dyslexia Fact Sheet that provides an overview of dyslexia for Colorado educators and parents focusing on what dyslexia is, how it impacts students and what to look for.
View Dyslexia Fact Sheet

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.


October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

Governor Hickenlooper has declared October as Dyslexia Awareness Month. Join us in spreading the word in your school and community.

October Dyslexia Proclamation 2018

Helpful resources:

2018 READ Conference

The Literacy Office along with the Exceptional Student Services Unit at CDE hosted the fourth annual READing Conference on Sept. 27 and 28, 2018.

  • The conference supports 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.

To access the conference program, session description and handouts for the session go to our READ Conference Webpage.

Additional Resources

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

For Parents

Screening for Risk:

Legislation for at-risk readers, including those with dyslexia

State Legislation

Colorado passed House Bill 08-1223 (PDF) (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) (PDF) provides Colorado more detail and added rights and protections to IDEA.

 CDE Sponsored Dyslexia Forum II - December 2018

Both sessions for the Dyslexia Forum are by invite only, for further questions or inquiries please email


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