Human language

Ontario’s children deserve the right to read, says Ontario Human Rights Commission

“The inequitable system that is currently leaving thousands of children behind is exposed, but the concrete recommendations outlined and the support from the wider community give hope and real optimism that our children can finally get the support they need. need to learn to read”

A new report from the Ontario Human Rights Commission has received support from Dyslexia Canada.

“Learning to read is a basic and essential right that the report finds is being denied to a significant number of children in Ontario,” a press release from the group said. “We hope the report will serve as a catalyst for bringing about changes to the public education system in Ontario and indeed across the country to ensure that all students have access to a fair and equitable education. Every child deserves to learn to read.

Read right includes recommendations to the Ministry of Education, school boards and faculties of education on how to address systemic issues that affect the right to learn to read, including:

  • Explicitly recognize the term “dyslexia”

  • Adopt a new Kindergarten curriculum and a Grades 1-8 language curriculum that includes direct and systematic instruction in foundational reading skills and prepare current and future teachers for evidence-based approaches to teaching students to read

  • Screening of every student, at least twice a year, from K-2, to identify students at risk for reading difficulties, using standardized, evidence-based screening tools

  • Standardize and provide stable funding for evidence-based reading interventions

  • Make access to interventions equitable for all students

  • Provide and support rapid and effective adaptation measures, including increased access to evidence-based software and assistive technologies

  • Improve access to professional assessments and ensure greater consistency and transparency in the assessment process

  • Set clear and consistent standards for school boards and require better data collection, analysis and reporting

  • Improve communication with students and parents

  • Work with reading science experts to implement OHRC recommendations

The report can be found here.

The province says it will end the “three-clue system” which encourages students to guess or predict words using clues or cues from context and prior knowledge, and focus on phonics.

It also says it will spend $25 million on evidence-based reading intervention programs, which the commission had called for.

“For parents, caregivers and students with dyslexia, this report is bittersweet,” says Christine Staley, Executive Director of Dyslexia Canada. “What we have known and stood for for years is finally recognized and heard. The right to learn to read is finally recognized.”

Staley says the crushing gap between the science of reading and what actually happens at the school level is brought to light.

“The inequitable system that is currently leaving thousands of children behind is exposed.” “But the actionable recommendations outlined and the support from the wider community give hope and genuine optimism that our children can finally get the support they need to learn to read.”

Dyslexia is a specific disorder in learning to read and write.

In Canada, approximately two to four children in each class struggle with dyslexia.

“The truth is that the system has failed our children. This report is the first step in recognizing and correcting this injustice. But we cannot allow this to benefit only the children of Ontario. says Keith Gray, President of Dyslexia Canada. “Every province and territory must make this their highest priority. »

Dyslexia Canada is a national charity committed to ensuring that every child with dyslexia in Canada receives a fair and equitable education.