BOSTON – Lisa Nelson of Grafton was selected by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as a 2017 Unsung Heroine. Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) nominated Lisa for her outreach and advocacy efforts on behalf of individuals living with Dyslexia. Her name was recognized with other Unsung Heroines from across the Commonwealth during a recent ceremony held at the State House in Boston.

Pictured (L-R): Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) with Lisa Nelson of Grafton

Dyslexia is a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols. As a parent of a child with Dyslexia, Lisa has experienced the challenges associated with identifying, remediating and supporting children with Dyslexia.

“Lisa is an energetic, engaged citizen who is committed to improving the quality of life for individuals with Dyslexia,” said Senator Moore. “Instead of sitting idly by, she has sprung to action to spread awareness and to propose public policy changes that would improve the lives of all people with Dyslexia. Public attention to, and awareness about, Dyslexia has significantly increased as a result of Lisa’s initiatives. She is most deserving of this recognition opportunity.”

Unsung Heroines are women who don’t always make the news, but make the difference. They are the women who use their time, talent and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and to enhance their neighborhoods, cities and towns. They are mentors, volunteers and innovators who do what needs to be done without the expectation of recognition or gratitude. A total of 116 Unsung Heroines were recognized in 2017.

As part of Lisa’s efforts, legislation has been filed that would establish a standard, scientific definition for Dyslexia and develop guidelines for the screening of students for Dyslexia by the end of kindergarten. Lisa co-founded Decoding Dyslexia Massachusetts as part of a national network of grassroots groups in all 50 states.

“As co-founder of the statewide grassroots movement, I have been working with others for the past four years trying to change literacy outcomes for students with dyslexia,” said Lisa Nelson. “With social media and public events, we connect parents to information they are not getting in schools. It is a real game changer for many families to find information from local researchers and I am grateful to my legislators for being supporters of dyslexia legislation.”

The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency that was legislatively created in 1998 to advance women of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. The Commission provides a permanent, effective voice for the women of Massachusetts.