Skip to content

B.C. officially announces dyslexia screening for all Grade K-3 students

Premier Eby, education minister announce $30 milllion for dyslexia screening, literacy
Finley Comartin received a diagnosed of dyslexia in Grade 4 last year. His screening was paid privately. Premier David Eby and Education Minister Rachna Singh officially announced universal screening for children between Kindergarten and Grade 3. (Ella Matte/Black Press Media News Staff)

Advocates for literacy are welcoming provincial plans to screen all students between Kindergarten and Grade 3 for dyslexia and other learning disabilities, starting with the new school year.

Alicia Smith, executive director with Dyslexia Canada, said the promise of $30 million over three years for universal dyslexia screening as well as additional literacy training at schools first announced in the 2024 provincial budget mark a “significant step” in ensuring children receive support.

“Reading difficulties can be prevented for over 95 per cent of all children, including those with dyslexia, when schools screen students and provide effective early intervention starting in kindergarten,” Smith said.

Premier David Eby and Education Minister Rachna Singh officially announced the new measures Tuesday (April 16) in North Vancouver. The money is set to fund about 150,000 screenings and government said it expects about 9,000 students to benefit each year.

Eby said screening students at a young age means that they can get whatever extra help they need early on rather than having to get more intensive support when they are older.

RELATED: Parents ‘cautiously optimistic’ about B.C. budget’s dyslexia supports

“Our government is committed to removing barriers and providing the supports students need so they can reach their full potential,” Singh added.

Colin Reid, president of the B.C. Council of Administrators of Inclusive Support in Education, welcomed the additional literacy training for teachers and staff.

Reid said the additional training through workshops and other resources will not only improve the academic performance of students, but also contribute to their mental health.

When the provincial government first announced the funding in February, Dyslexia BC said it was “cautiously optimistic” about the funding, but also worried that it might not be enough, noting that dyslexia affects up to 20 per cent of the population.

Based on this figure, Dyslexia BC estimates that up 21,000 students could be left out.

Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
Read more