What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin and distinguished from other learning disabilities due to weaknesses occurring at the phonological level. 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.

Effective on July 1, 2017, every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license shall complete awareness training, provided by VDOE, on the indicators of dyslexia, as that term is defined by the board pursuant to regulations, and the evidence-based interventions and accommodations for dyslexia.

Hanover County Dyslexia Team

Per requirements in the Code of Virginia § 22.1-253.13:2(G) (standard two of the standards of quality) Hanover County Public Schools is required to identify an employee to  serve as the“dyslexia advisor” to the district.

To comply with this regulation, HCPS has implemented a “dyslexia team”. Members of the team have had  training in the identification of and the appropriate interventions, accommodations, and teaching techniques for students with dyslexia or a related disorder and shall serve as advisors on dyslexia and related disorders. Team members have an understanding of the definition of dyslexia and a working knowledge of (i) techniques to help a student on the continuum of skills with dyslexia; (ii) dyslexia characteristics that may manifest at different ages and grade levels; (iii) the basic foundation of the keys to reading, including multisensory, explicit, systemic, and structured reading instruction; and (iv) appropriate interventions, accommodations, and assistive technology supports for students with dyslexia.

The HCPS dyslexia team is not a decision making body. It is designed to provide recommendations on instructional strategies and possible accommodations to teachers, IEP teams and 504 teams.

Team members include a reading specialist, coordinator for elementary special education, coordinator for secondary special education, assistant director of special education, and a school psychologist and/or educational diagnostician.

Contact for Dyslexia Team:

Lauran Ziegler
Assistant Director of Special Education


Virginia Department of Education - Dyslexia
Virginia Department of Education Specific Disability Supplementary
Guide Dyslexia: Frequently Asked Questions

International Dyslexia Association: Dyslexia in the Classroom
International Dyslexia Handbook: What Every Family Should Know

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