Yesterday, October 5, Governor Mark Gordon signed a proclamation declaring October 2022 Dyslexia Awareness Month. The signing was attended by a small group of Wyoming students and community members, representatives from the WyoLit organization, and WY State Representative Landon Brown.

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Phylicia Peterson, TSM Cheyenne
Governor Gordon stands with attendees of the Wyoming Dyslexia Month Proclamation signing. (Credit: Phylicia Peterson, TSM Cheyenne)

Governor Gordon recognized the proclamation as critical to improving the awareness of the condition in Wyoming. Representative Landon Brown voiced his support for the proclamation as well. Representative Brown said, "It's truly humbling to know that you're taking the time out of your day to recognize this dyslexia month, that we're actually going to sit down...and figure out what we can do to fix this problem." 

The sentiment was echoed by members from the WyoLit organization, Heather Fleming and Kari Roden.

"10 to 20% of the population are affected by dyslexia," explained Roden when given an opportunity to express her support of the proclamation. "Something like this is vitally important for all these intelligent beings we have with us." She added, referencing the small group of students in the room - many of whom were dyslexic.

Roden reiterated that though the proclamation is a step forward, there is much work to be done to provide adequate support for dyslexic students in Wyoming. In 2019, Wyoming Congress passed W.S. § 21-3-401, which requires "each school district shall select and implement a reading assessment and intervention program that uses an instrument that screens for signs of dyslexia and other reading difficulties as early as possible in kindergarten through grade three." Roden commended the law, saying, "the law is great," she said, "but what is missing, and what I'm seeing in all the schools that I'm at, is that teachers still have no idea that we have this [dyslexia] law." 

"Teachers have no idea of the signs or symptoms of dyslexia, or how to intervene, or how to accommodate," said Roden.

Roden's co-founder of WY Lit, Heather Fleming, echoed her sentiments. "This is really important in terms of elevating the awareness. You know, facing any problem starts with awareness."

For more information on WY Lit and dyslexia in Wyoming, click here.

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