Jesiel Applauds Osmond for New Dyslexia Law

Gurnee…Legislation formally recognizing the international definition of dyslexia, which was sponsored by former State Representative JoAnn Osmond (R-Gurnee), was signed into law by the Governor last week.  Under the new law, the Illinois State Board of Education will now recognize dyslexia as a learning disability and allow students who suffer from dyslexia to receive the extra help they need.  Current State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor), who was recently appointed to replace Osmond, called this new law a landmark piece of legislation for education in Illinois and a fitting example of the exceptional work done by Representative Osmond.

“For years parents of dyslexic children have been fighting to get their children the extra help they need to succeed in school, and for years they have hit road block after road block,” said Rep. Jesiel.  “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of JoAnn Osmond, dyslexia will for the first time be formally recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education and the road blocks will finally be torn down.  We must ensure that all children receive a world class education and that no one is left behind simply because they learn information a little differently than other kids.”

Dyslexia is the most common form of reading, writing, and spelling difficulties and it is estimated that as many as 1 in 5 students suffer from some degree of dyslexia.  Previously, schools were allowed to adopt their own rules to recognize dyslexia; however, due to budgetary constraints and a lack of understanding of dyslexia, few schools provide dyslexia specific services. 

“I was extremely honored to carry this legislation on behalf of the children and parents that deal with dyslexia everyday of their lives,” said Osmond.  “This recognition will open the door to a wealth of resources for both teachers and students.  Fewer than half of the states recognize this condition, limiting the educational potential of millions of children. It gives me great pride that Illinois is taking a leading role for such an important matter.”

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