The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) defines dyslexia as

“A specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede vocabulary and background knowledge growth.”

Through research and local studies, North Dakota has identified key approaches for school systems to adopt to support students with dyslexic traits. Practices include early screening and intervention, careful progress monitoring of reading skills, and educator awareness. North Dakota has enacted laws to support these recommended practices.

Dyslexia Legislation
Dyslexia Screener

NDCC 15.1-32-26 subsection 3.a states that “school districts shall, for enrolled children seven years of age and younger, provide a universal screening for dyslexia including core components of phonemic awareness, decoding, and spelling, which must be approved by the superintendent of public instruction.”

Screeners currently approved for 2023-2024 MIS01 Reporting are:

  • Acadience
  • AimsWeb
  • FastBridge
  • Star CBM

If your screener is not on the list, please see this guidance document for information related to current and future reporting.  

Specialist Trained in Dyslexia Credential

A school district or non-public school may choose to employ an individual that holds the credential for specialists trained in dyslexia. A “specialist trained in dyslexia” must have a valid North Dakota educator’s professional license issued by the Education Standards and Practices Board. To obtain the credential, an individual must complete the following coursework or hold certification approved by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) or the Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI):

  1. Introduction to dyslexia;
  2. Assessment for students with dyslexia;
  3. Interventions for students with dyslexia; and
  4. Minimum of three semester hours of practicum experience related to dyslexia assessment and interventions.

An individual may be exempt from completing the coursework if they have completed certification approved by the IDA or the CERI. The certification must include a practicum experience of a minimum of three credits or forty-five clock hours. Administrative Rules 37-11-25

Those interested in obtaining the Credential for Specialists Trained in Dyslexia must complete an online application at ND Teach.