SECTION 1. Chapter 71 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding after section 57 the following section:-
SECTION 57A. (a) For the purposes of this section the following word will have the following meaning:
Neurological Learning Disability: “a specific learning disability, including but not limited to dyslexia, that is neurological in origin with indicators that include but not limited to, difficulty in acquiring language skills; inability to comprehend oral or written language; difficulty in rhyming words; difficulty in naming letters, recognizing letters, matching letters to sounds, and blending sounds when speaking and reading words; difficulty recognizing and remembering sight words; consistent transposition of number sequences, letter reversals, inversions, and substitutes and trouble in replication of content.”
(b) The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall issue guidelines for districts, subject to appropriation, to develop screening procedures or protocols to identify students who possess one or more potential indicators of a neurological learning disability including but not limited to dyslexia.
SECTION 2. Section 1 of Chapter 287 of the Acts of 2012 is hereby amended by inserting after the word “assessments”, in line 40, the following words:-- “, identification of neurological learning disabilities including but not limited to dyslexia”.
SECTION 3. Said section 1 of said chapter 287 of the Acts of 2012 is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “education”, in line 8, the following:-- “The secretary shall appoint 1 member to the panel who represents and/or is a member of a dyslexia advocacy organization.”
SECTION 4. Said section 1 of said chapter 287 of the Acts of 2012 is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “development”, in line 51, the following:-- “; and (7) action steps to implement the research-based recommendations including but not limited to teacher preparation programs contained in reports written by experts in early language and literacy development with respect to reading disabilities including but not limited to dyslexia.
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