On October 23, 2015, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) of the U.S. Department of Education published a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) in response to questions regarding the use of the terms, “dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in evaluations, eligibility determinations, or in developing the individualized education program (IEP) under the IDEA.” In the DCL, the Assistant Secretary notes, “…that there is nothing in the IDEA that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in IDEA evaluation, eligibility determinations, or IEP documents.”
The DCL goes on to remind state and local educational agencies (SEAs and LEAs) that some of these terms are used in IDEA regulations under the definition of “specific learning disability” and outlines various methods that may be used to determine the presence of the condition and requirements for documentation. The Letter further points to three sources of technical assistance including the National Center on Intensive Intervention, the Center for Parent Information and Resources, and the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials.
The DCL ends with a statement that “encourages SEAs to remind their LEAs of the importance of addressing the unique educational needs of children with specific learning disabilities resulting from dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia during IEP Team meetings and other meetings with parents under IDEA.”
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