Austin/ Community & Society
AI Assisted Icon
Published on April 17, 2024
Justice Department Settles with Texas Education Agency Over Alleged Dyslexia Discrimination in Teacher Certification ProcessSource: No machine-readable author provided. Billy Hathorn assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Justice Department announced a settlement with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) today to resolve allegations of discrimination against individuals with dyslexia in the teacher certification process. The agreement, which comes after a complaint that triggered an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas, centers on testing accommodations for the Science of Teaching Reading (STR) examination.

Allegedly denied an alternative testing arrangement for the STR exam, a teacher candidate with dyslexia and dysgraphia prompted the Department of Justice to investigate after not being provided with oral administration as an accommodation. According to a statement by U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas, the ADA forbids public entities from running a licensing program that discriminates against people with disabilities.

The terms of the settlement dictate that the TEA will allow alternative testing arrangements, such as a qualified reader or text-to-speech technology, for individuals with dyslexia verified through proper documentation. As part of resolving the complaint, the TEA has agreed to provide the specified modifications for the complainant when they next attempt the STR examination. This settlement represents an affirmative step in ensuring equitable access to teaching certifications for all individuals, regardless of disability.

"Preparing for professional certification examinations is a stressful time for anyone, let alone people with disabilities who may also worry that their requests for alternative testing arrangements may be rejected," U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza told the Justice Department's press office. He added, "People with dyslexia should not be denied the testing accommodations they deserve. The ADA requires such modifications to ensure that people with disabilities are not being graded on their disabilities, and unfairly denied access to their chosen professions."

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Goode represented the government in these proceedings. With complaints of ADA violations being taken seriously, the Justice Department offers information on the ADA at and provides a toll-free information line for those needing assistance or looking to file a complaint. Steps for filing a complaint are detailed at for those who require it.