TUPELO • Regional Rehabilitation Center and Toyota Mississippi are teaming up to reduce roadblocks for children with dyslexia.

The $30,000 Toyota grant will allow the Tupelo center to expand its capacity to evaluate children for the learning disability that affects the ability to interpret letters, numbers and symbols, said RRC executive Parman said. Currently, with just one evaluator on staff, the waiting list is more than a year for appointments.

“By far, it’s the longest waiting list we have,” Parman said. “It’s so heartbreaking to tell families there’s a year-long wait.”

Dyslexia evaluation is intensive, Parman said. It takes a trained evaluator 35 to 40 hours to conduct the tests, compile reports and meet with parents and school officials for each person. With the grant providing additional funding for evaluations, the center is currently seeking to hire an additional dyslexia evaluator. That will bring the dyslexia staff to four full time and one part time professionals.

“We’d like to hire someone before the start of the year,” Parman said. “It will help children get the services they need; it can have a huge impact on a child’s life.”

The center needs to raise an additional $29,000 to cover the materials and personnel costs for the first year, and Parman is working to secure long term funding.

“This is our foundation,” for providing additional services to families with dyslexia, Parman said.

Donations can be made through regionalrehabilitationcenter.com or by calling (662) 842-9462.

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