Families Gather in D.C. to Advocate for Dyslexia In late June 2014, more than 100 Decoding Dyslexia parents and children descended upon Washington, D.C. to educate their representatives on dyslexia, to share their personal stories with lawmakers and other families, and to learn from one another and from a variety of speakers. When they weren’t meeting with their representatives, Decoding Dyslexia families and other dyslexia supporters had opportunities to listen and learn from the bipartisan Dyslexia Caucus Co-chairs, Representatives Dr. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Julia Brownley, and author and dyslexic Gary Karton, among others. Pictured: Dr. Bill Cassidy, (R-LA) The highlight of the gathering was the inspiring group of young dyslexics who came to D.C. to advocate for themselves and other dyslexics like them. They shared their stories of struggling to get accommodations with their representatives and gained support from their fellow Decoding Dyslexia families. An impressive young man named Andrew Ruocco shook hands and handed out his personal business cards, asking his representatives and others to support H.Res. 456. The Quirion family met with Connecticut’s five representatives. Older brother Luke has been well-versed in his younger brother Jack’s struggles with dyslexia, and what he needs to overcome them. This family is truly inspiring as they educate lawmakers in D.C. and in Connecticut about dyslexia and what dyslexics need to succeed. Brian Meersma (center), a student at Cornell University, has been advocating for accommodations since elementary school. He maintains an assistive technology blog, and has written for YCDC. Find his article here. Brian is joined by his mother Kathy Stratton and Ollie Cantos from the U.S. Dept of Education. Jody Walters and her son Kaden came to D.C. from West Virginia to share their dyslexia journey, one that included a failed attempt to have their school system to recognize dyslexia. Jody had to resort to home schooling to have Kaden’s dyslexia addressed. Homeschooling allows time and the space for Kaden to demonstrate his strengths. The talented artist shows off his handiwork with this drawing commemorating their visit to Washington, D.C. Jennifer Rhett and her son enjoy a moment during author and dyslexic Gary Karton’s talk. The two traveled from Georgia to share their personal dyslexia story and to urge their representatives to make legislative change so that all families with dyslexic children are supported in the school system. The young advocates in the Decoding Dyslexia group maintained interest and asked questions throughout the presentations during the three-day gathering. The young advocates in the Decoding Dyslexia group maintained interest and asked questions throughout the presentations during the three-day gathering. This young dyslexic shares his enthusiasm for the events and the speakers’ words and provides a reminder for all those struggling with dyslexia that they have things to be proud of.