That is the empowering message of I AM DYSLEXIC – a gorgeous animated short film just released on YouTube for all the world to see and share.
The award-winning film was directed and produced by Mads Johan Øgaard and Katie Wyman. They are both talented and creative dyslexics – their successful film making a reminder that dyslexia needn’t hold you back from achieving your dreams.
The film was made with no budget and a team of more than 60 students most of which have dyslexia and other learning differences.
Diagnosed with “congenital word blindness” in 1896.
What happened to Percy? Did he ever learn to read? Did he have a happy life?
Why don’t we know more about Percy, and all the boys and girls who like Percy have struggled to read the written word?
The history of dyslexia, and people with dyslexia, is fascinating. And yet, it remains largely untold.
It’s important to document our history: to see how we have been labelled and mislabeled, treated and mistreated; how far have we come in understanding and accepting dyslexia, and where we need to go.
That’s why I’m so excited about Oxford University’s History of Dyslexia project. They are tracing the origins of dyslexia (primarily in the UK) – the early advocates, pioneers and researchers who got us where we are today. They are also collecting histories of people with dyslexia.
Understood.org is a helpful and trusted source of information about learning and attention issues. Their website is full of easy to use, helpful tools and resources created by experts.
In September 2016, just in time for back-to-school, they launched a public service campaign called “Two Sides”. The goal is to help parents identify and understand their child’s learning disability:
“It’s no accident this campaign is launching early in the school year. As schoolwork ramps up for kids, signs of learning and attention issues can become more noticeable. The goal of the campaign is to help parents understand these signs so they can seek out the right support for their kids.”~Understood.org
British health writer Roy Lilley is incredibly eloquent when talking about his struggles with dyslexia and school as a child, and how he went on to became a prolific writer (27 books on the management of health care!!) despite the low expectations of others.
To help improve his spelling, Lilley relies on spell check, and sends his articles for editing and proofreading. He still lets the occasional spelling mistake slip through, but he doesn’t worry about it anymore: “I write 700 words a day, and if the other 699 are ok I’m not too worried about that one.”
“It’s what’s in your heart that is important. If you are writing about things that you care about, if you are writing about things that are important…what’s a spelling mistake between friends? It’s not important. The important thing is if you’ve got the desire and the need (if you’re a student) to express yourself–you just get on and do it. Because, you know what, if you want to be a nurse or work in the clinical interface it’s how you look after people that’s important. So I would say, be like me, don’t give a stuff.” ~Roy Lilley
Watch the video
This is part of a series of videos called dyslexic nurses. The videos feature UK nurses sharing their unique perspective about neurodiversity in health care: watch Dyslexic Nurses.
British company Novacroft has put together a film that highlights dyslexic talents in the workplace:
Debra Charles, Novacroft’s Founder and CEO, is herself proudly dyslexic:
“I’m one of the estimated 20% of dyslexic entrepreneurs in the UK, and it took me a long time to realise that the perceived barriers of dyslexia were barriers that I put in my own way, and that the strength to overcome them came from me, from valuing myself and my own ideas. I honestly believe that my success is because of, not despite, dyslexia. That’s why I’m passionate about celebrating and valuing differences, and why perceptions of ‘normal’ need to change. Working together, we can make a difference.”
Here’s hoping that this positivity will spread to other employers and workplaces.