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Glossary of Dyslexia Terms

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504 Plan-an important responsibility of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability against students with disabilities (U.S. Department of Education, 2020). OCR receives numerous complaints and inquiries in the area of elementary and secondary education involving Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 794 (Section 504). Most of these concern identification of students who are protected by Section 504 and the means to obtain an appropriate education for such students (U.S. Department of Education, 2020). 

Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. Department of Education, 2020). Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . .”(U.S Department of Education, 2020).

Alphabetic Principle- the understanding that the sequence of letters in written words represents the sequence of sound (or phoneme) in spoken words (Texas Education Agency, 2018, p. 133). 

Evaluation- the use of multiple methods in evaluation a variety of data to guide establishment of appropriate interventions (Texas Education Agency, 2018, p. 134).

Evidence-based reading instruction- For reading, this will include reliable, trustworthy, and valid evidence suggesting that when the program is used with a student, the student can be expected to make adequate gains in reading achievement (Texas Education Agency, 2018, p. 134). 

Individualized Education Plan (IEP) - Each child's IEP describes, among other things, the educational program that has been designed to meet that child's unique needs.  The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child (U.S. Department of Education, 2020).  

Multisensory instruction- instruction that incorporates the simultaneous use of two or more sensory pathways (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, tactile) during teacher presentation and student practice (Texas Education Agency, 2018, p. 136)

Orthographic awareness- the ability to perceive and manipulate aspects of a writing system and the visual aspects of reading and spelling, such as letters, letter patterns and words (Texas Education Agency, 2018, p. 136). 

Orthographic memory- the memory for letter patterns and word spellings (Texas Education Agency, 2018, p. 136). 
Phoneme awareness- the insight that spoken words can be conceived as a sequence of sounds; the ability to manipulate the sounds within words, (e.g., segmenting or blending) (Texas Education Agency, 2018, p. 136). 

Phonics- a method of teaching reading that helps students build understanding of sound-symbol relationships and spelling patterns (Texas Education Agency, 2018, p. 136).

Phonology- the sound structure of speech and in particular, the perception, representation, and production of speech sounds (Texas Education Agency, 2018, p. 136). 

Phonological memory- passive short-term memory that briefly stores speech-based information in phonological form (Texas Education Agency, 2018, p. 137). 

Response to intervention (RTI) or (RtI)- the multistep, or tiered, approach to providing services and interventions at increasing levels of intensity to student who struggle with learning (Texas Education Agency, 2018, p. 137). 


Texas Education Agency. (2018). The Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders. Retrieved from rules/tac/chapter113/ch113c.pdf

U.S. Department of Education. (2020). Protecting Students with Disabilities. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Education. (2020). A Guide to the Individualized Education Program. Retrieved from

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