You read that right. The gift of dyslexia. Probably doesn’t strike you as one does it? Our society makes it a massive challenge. We can’t even teach to different learning styles, let alone deal with dyslexia, but here’s the thing; there is something about these people that frequently leads to the extraordinary. I want to celebrate their gift. To acknowledge their abilities and to possibly let them know they’ve got this.
I don’t have dyslexia but I recently had the privilege of meeting a man who does. Mr. Davis Graham is many things, but a quitter isn’t one of them. He has struggled his entire life with the written word, but with the use of current technology he’s found his freedom. Listening to him tell his story is riveting. Literally. He had an entire room of engineers and innovators captivated. His energy and enthusiasm was contagious which is why he’s up next on my #Brilliance campaign.
Davis was kicked out of multiple schools and colleges but he never stopped trying, nor did he let it slow him down. In 2001 he discovered Readplease shareware and everything changed. There are numerous text to speech options out there now. The point is, he harnessed technology and learned to exploit his gift. Watching him listen to the doc, flip over to Google and search a term, then go take a virtual tour of the location mentioned was enlightening. Not only is he absorbing more of the information, he’s enhancing the entire experience. Using technology that today is ubiquitous he’s succeeding on a brilliant scale.
Davis went from reading 69 words per minute to a stunning 395-650 word per minute range. He not only graduated with a masters degree from Brandeis in 2016, he received one of only two honors allocated to the graduating class.
There is a learning curve. It takes time to master the pieces and use them seamlessly but it’s doable and its worth it.
Noticeability.org is a great resource and has some stunning numbers, a few of which I’d like to share.
35% of students with dyslexia fail to graduate high school.
50% of youth in juvenile detention have dyslexia.
60% of adolescents in drug and alcohol rehab have dyslexia.
Sounds bad, right? Now check this out.
35% of entrepreneurs have dyslexia.
40% of self-made millionaires have dyslexia.
50% of all NASA employees have dyslexia. <=== say what?
This screams potential to me. These people are having their confidence killed before they get started. Those who overcome, thrive.