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.
- View our presentation on Defining Dyslexia
- Download the Revised SLD/Dyslexia Assessment Resource Guide (2017)
SLD/Dyslexia Free Online Modules and Courses
Presented by CSDE and SERC, the following online courses and archived webinars are now available for immediate access.
Archived webinars are available on demand. Online courses are presented using the Schoology.com Learning Management System. After registering for a course, you will recieve confirmation that contains the course access code and instructions for creating an account on Schoology.com, if you don't already have one.
Bookmark & share https://ctserc.org/dyslexia for future access.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- An advanced-level 12-hour course that addresses the foundations of reading acquisition, identification of SLD/Dyslexia, and evidence-based structured literacy instructional practices.
- 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.
- 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.