Assemblymember Carroll’s Legislation the “Dyslexia Diagnosis Access Act” Passes the State Assembly for the Second Consecutive Year

Requires health insurance plans to pay for neuropsychological exams to diagnose dyslexia – bill now moves to State Senate

Albany, NY Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D/WF-Brooklyn) announced that his bill the “Dyslexia Diagnosis Access Act” (A.2898) passed the New York State Assembly today unanimously for the second consecutive year. 

This legislation would require that private health insurance policies pay for neuropsychological exams for the purpose of diagnosing dyslexia. Most medical insurance companies do not reimburse for this and schools typically only offer limited assessments. Neuropsychological exams are often administered over the course of two days and currently may cost in excess of six thousand dollars making them unaffordable to many families.

“With the Governor signing my legislation, the Dyslexia Task Force Act (A.133), into law this past December and the Assembly’s action today on the Dyslexia Diagnosis Access Act we are making real progress towards ensuring children with dyslexia get the interventions and supports they need,” said Assemblymember Robert Carroll. “The Senate should promptly pass this essential legislation.”

“Assemblymember Carroll is making a profound difference for New York City’s underserved children with learning disabilities. The “Dyslexia Diagnosis Access Act” will be a game changer at leveling the playing field and allow many more children access to get the educational tools they need to learn and put them on the path to success,” said Ted Kamoutsis, Executive Director of the Promise Project, which provides neuropsychological exams and teacher training regarding reading disorders for kindergartners in marginalized and underserved communities in New York City.

Studies indicate that as many as one in five children may have dyslexia or another phonemic awareness issue. As well as hampering students’ educational achievement, untreated dyslexia and other learning disorders increase the risk of anxiety, depression, suicide, drug use, and incarceration; this leads to increased healthcare costs as well as substantial costs to society. Educational research has unequivocally demonstrated that early identification of dyslexia, coupled with intervention and multisensory sequential phonics instruction drastically improves educational outcomes limiting the harm caused by dyslexia.

“I was fortunate as a child that my family had the resources to pay for a neuropsychological exam. Being diagnosed with dyslexia was the first step in getting the interventions I needed that literally changed my life,” added Assemblymember Carroll. “This legislation has the potential to help thousands of children and their families. The cost of these assessments will be lower than the costs that result from dyslexia going undiagnosed and untreated.” 

While responding to an ongoing need of children and families, this legislation is also timely given the anticipated increase in demand for neuropsychological exams as New York City ramps up its efforts to screen students for dyslexia.