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.

Accordion Section Title
What must North Dakota Schools Do about Dyslexia?

In 2023, North Dakota passed a law with key requirements for schools to help children with reading difficulties. The law is North Dakota Century Code NDCC 15.1-32-26, in which dyslexia is defined as a neurological (brain) difference that causes difficulties reading words, spelling, and decoding.


Reading is a code in which letters represent sounds. While learning to read, a brain builds processes to crack that code. A brain with dyslexia does not build the pathways between sound and print with the same efficiency as a non-dyslexic brain does. Schools must have informed processes to help every child develop successful pathways to reading fluency. 


Educator's Guide to North Dakota Dyslexia Law

Accordion Section Title
Dyslexia Legislation
Accordion Section Title
Dyslexia Screener

NDCC 15.1-32-26 subsection 3a 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.”

Dyslexia Screeners approved as of March 1, 2024, for MIS01 reporting.

  • Acadience
  • aimswebPlus
  • Amira
  • FastBridge
  • MAP Reading Fluency
  • mClass Dibels 8th Edition
  • Star CBM

Dyslexia Screener Tool Vendor Application - Vendors can apply to have a dyslexia screener reviewed for inclusion on this list. Applications are accepted anytime throughout the year but will only be reviewed twice yearly. All applications received by February 1 will be reviewed and responded to by March 1, and all applications received by June 1 will be reviewed and responded to by July 1. 

Accordion Section Title
North Dakota Online Dyslexia Courses

North Dakota educators have access to three high-quality online courses provided free of charge through state funding. 

Register for one of the following options provided through the Aim Institute:

  1. Demystifying Dyslexia is an asynchronous, three-hour course appropriate for K-3 educators, paraeducators, and leaders interested in building knowledge about understanding and supporting students with dyslexia. 

  2. Pathways to Literacy leadership is approximately 24 asynchronous hours with six hours of virtual community of practice. Appropriate for leaders, including principals and curriculum leaders. 

  3. Pathways to Structured Literacy is approximately 30 hours of asynchronous online instruction with four virtual Community of Practice sessions. Appropriate for interventionists, special education teachers, and reading specialists.  

  4. ND Educator's Hub - "Building Healthy Systems to Support Students with Dyslexia" video and handout series.

Accordion Section Title
Specialist Trained in Dyslexia Credential

A school district or non-public school may choose to employ an individual who holds a 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.

Individuals 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 at least 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.