Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) / Dyslexia Initiative
Specific Learning Disability (SLD) as defined by IDEA means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations.
SERC's Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)/Dyslexia Initiative was established in January 2015 at the request of the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) in response to Connecticut Public Act 14-39 which added SLD/Dyslexia as a primary disability category. This legislation was crafted to support the unique educational needs of students in Connecticut who have a learning disability, some of whom may not be appropriately identified or receiving specialized "structured" literacy instruction because of dyslexia.
SERC's Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)/Dyslexia Initiative seeks to inform educators and families about issues and best practices related to the needs of students with all types of learning disabilities, including dyslexia.
SLD/Dyslexia Free Online Modules and Courses
Increasing Awareness of SLD/Dyslexia: Implications for CT Educators
- A 2-hour archived webinar that traces CSDE's response to the Connecticut's SLD/Dyslexia legislation, explores issues related to identification, presents an overview of evidence-based practices for structured literacy instruction, and offers a systematic method for school teams to conduct special education file reviews.
Using Literacy Screening Data to Support Students with Reading Difficulties
- A 2-hour archived webinar that explores different patterns of reading difficulty based on screening data derived from the curriculum-based assessments in Connecticut's Approved Menu of Research-based Grades K-3 Universal Screening Reading Assessments.
Remediating and Accommodating Students with SLD/Dyslexia at the Secondary Level
- A 2-hour archived webinar that focuses on secondary-level specialized reading and writing instruction and assistive technology (AT) that supports access to general education.
Identifying Students with SLD/Dyslexia: An Online Course
- A 6.5-hour self-paced online course that uses a case-study comprehensive approach to understanding reading difficulties, supporting literacy development via tiers of general education support, and appropriately identifying students with SLD/Dyslexia.
It's Never Too Late: How to Motivate and Teach Older Struggling Readers with SLD/Dyslexia
- A 2¼-hour online learning module that discusses setting priorities for older students with SLD/Dyslexia and providing evidence-based instructional approaches most effective for his population of students.
Case Study Review of a Connecticut Student with SLD/Dyslexia
- A 2-hour online learning module that describes the educational profile of a Connecticut public school student identified with SLD/Dyslexia and follows the student's trajectory of learning to read in the early elementary grades through high school.
SLD/Dyslexia: Connecting Research to Practice in Connecticut
- An advanced-level 12-hour course that addresses the foundations of reading acquisition, identification of SLD/Dyslexia, and evidence-based structured literacy instructional practices.
Identifying Students who are Gifted and Talented and Have SLD or SLD/Dyslexia
- An awareness-level 1-hour online module that discusses principles of giftedness and how to use data from curriculum-based assessments and standardized measures of cognitive and reading ability to identify students who are Gifted-SLD.
Distinguishing Between Typically Developing English Learners (ELs) and Students with Reading Difficulties
- An awareness-level 2-hour online module that explores the factors related to distinguishing between below-level linguistic proficiency and a reading disability in ELs.
Assistant Director, SERC
Education Consultant, CT State Department of Education