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Sen. Britt joins dyslexia education roundtable, shares praise for UA’s nationally-recognized language therapy program

U.S. Senator Katie Britt visited the University of Alabama, her alma mater, last week to participate in a roundtable discussion about dyslexia education and the school’s CALT program. An estimated 20% of Americans have dyslexia.

Britt (R-Montgomery) was joined by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Dr. Laura Cassidy, a Dyslexia Resource Center board member, and participants from the university’s CALT (Certified Academic Language Therapist) program.

“This program not only helps students, but helps other teachers understand the tools and innovation that are out there and the science that supports it, so that they can take what they’ve learned back to their communities and change the trajectory of children’s lives,” Sen. Britt said.

“There is a reason we say the University of Alabama is ‘Where Legends Are Made’, and I know that this program will be at the top of that list.”

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According to the university, UA CALT is a professional development program for teachers that offers pathways to certification for those specializing in dyslexia. Teachers in the two-year program are required to complete 700 hours of practicum work before sitting for the certification exam.

It is also a satellite site of the Dyslexia Resource Center.

Dr. Carol Donovan, UA CALT director, emphasized the importance of the school’s efforts.

“The teacher expertise makes a real difference, and this kind of program can impact not only children with dyslexia, but also the teacher instruction — from reading coaches who are getting this expertise down to the children.”

The first CALT cohort will finish in May.

Statistics from the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity show that dyslexia affects 20% of the population and represents 80–90% of all those with learning disabilities. It is the most common of all neuro-cognitive disorders.

Learn more about UA’s program here and the Dyslexia Resource Center here.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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