A dyslexia task force is submitting recommendations to Iowa lawmakers today designed to improve instruction for kids with the common learning disability and other struggling readers. Task force member Katie Greving says the group conducted a survey of Iowa teachers, parents, students and others.

Greving says, “The major finding of the survey was that a lot of people who are responsible for helping to meet the needs of these kids don’t have the basic knowledge and skills that they need, and wanted more knowledge and skills.”

Greving says they also found a lot of inconsistencies across different schools in how they’re handling students with dyslexia. The group recommends the state develop a dyslexia-specific teaching endorsement, and that all teachers take an online training course about dyslexia.

“The task force chose this recommendation to address a systematic lack of expertise on dyslexia in Iowa,” she says, “and that’s probably the most important thing that we’re asking of the legislature.” Greving adds, these steps can help kids who are struggling with reading for many different reasons, not just those who are diagnosed with dyslexia.