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Is dyslexia an obstacle for entrepreneurs and businessmen?

7 May 2021
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DYSLEXIA ENTREPRENEURS BUSINESSMEN  - For most people, reading, writing and checking seem natural and automatic activities. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. In fact, there are many people for whom such an apparently simple activity is a very high and difficult mountain to climb. This is because there are learning disabilities that confuse the letters and/or numbers on the sheet. Until a few years ago, however, we did not know the existence of these problems and that suffered was labeled as listless or first of intelligence. For this reason, if in the post school period he obtained exceptional results, it was a great sensation. In fact, cases of dyslexia between great luminaries, writers, entrepreneurs and businessmen are not uncommon. But let us look more specifically at the question, starting with the definitions.

Dyslexia and all other SLD

Dyslexia is a specific reading disorder that falls into the category of so-called SLD. SLD are nothing more than learning disabilities. These learning disorders have always been successful, but only in recent times you are beginning to recognize the importance and you are intervening to go against the kids who suffer from them. In addition to dyslexia, SLD include:

  • misfortune, a specific disorder of the handwriting that manifests itself with a difficulty in the motor ability of writing;
  • disortography, a specific writing disorder that manifests itself with difficulty in orthographic competence and phonographic competence
  • dyscalculia, a specific disorder of number and calculation abilities that manifests itself with a difficulty in understanding and operating with numbers.

As we read on the website of AID (Italian Association Dyslexia):

"These disorders depend on the different modes of operation of neuronal networks involved in the processes of reading, writing and calculation. They are not caused by a lack of intelligence or environmental or psychological problems or sensory deficits."

This makes us understand how the clichés surrounding dyslexia and all the other SLD are wrong. In fact, both for some members of the school sector and for family members, these disorders are just an alibi to justify a lack of intelligence, or the lack of willingness to engage and even do the minimum necessary.

The data of dyslexia between boys, entrepreneurs and businessmen

We read from the Ministry of Education that for the school year 2017-2018, the students in Italian schools with Specific Learning Disorders are 276,109. If you also look at the data from previous years and you make a comparison you can see that we went from 0.7% in the year 2010-2011 to 3.2% of the total of pupils in the last survey. In Europe the European Dyslexia Association (EDA) estimates the overall prevalence of people with dyslexia between 9% and 12% of the population.

However, the data only refer to children in schools with certified diagnosis. However, those who live in the school world from close up know that there are many students who suffer from these disorders but to whom no certification has arrived. This is because, on the one hand, there is an increase in awareness of the SLD, but at the same time, the prejudices that surround them are still too deep-seated.

Among these, the most rooted one concerns the fact that those who have these disorders are not intelligent, are listless and lack will. There’s nothing more wrong than that. In fact, other data show that many luminaries, large researchers, entrepreneurs and businessmen have suffered from dyslexia or other learning disabilities.

Famous are the cases of:

Erin Brockovich - legal employee, socio-environmental activist, whose life has also been taken from a film;

John Chambers - CEO of Cisco;

Cath Kidston - designer and entrepreneur;

Paul Orfalea - founder of FedEx Kinko

Louis Rosenberg - American entrepreneur, author, screenwriter, inventor and professor;

Charles Schwab - founder of the American brokerage company;

And then there are those who need no introduction:

Fratelli Wright (Wilbur e Orville) - US engineers, inventors and airmen;

Emile Zola - French writer, journalist, essayist, literary critic and photographer;

Nikola Tesla - scientist and engineer;

David Rockefeller - American businessman and philanthropist;

Isaac Newton - English mathematician, physicist, natural philosopher, astronomer, theologian and alchemist;

Guglielmo Marconi -  Italian physicist, inventor, entrepreneur and politician;

Ingvar Kamprad - IKEA’s founding industrialist;

Steve Jobs - co-founder of Apple Inc.;

Galileo Galilei - scientist, writer;

Victor Hugo - poet, playwright, essayist, writer, aphorist, visual artist, statesman, politician and French human rights activist;

Walt Disney - US entrepreneur, film producer, director and animator;

Albert Einstein - German physicist and philosopher;

Neil Bush - businessman and son ofi George HW Bush;

The Gary app to help dyslexia sufferers

Despite these examples, however, dyslexia and various Dsas can be a difficult obstacle for many people to overcome. That is why they can count on so much help. Among them is "Gary, Gaze And Read it by Yourself", an app for assisted reading that combines reading aloud with eye tracking. The latter is but a scientific methodology that allows one to understand the insights of the human mind. Thanks to this integration between technology and scientific methodology, the Bruno Kessler Foundation in collaboration with the Department of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences of the University of Trento have created the Gary app.

GARY

The instrument is calibrated directly by the reader, with a technique of automatic auto-adaptation of the reading speed based on the user’s gaze. In fact, thanks to eye tracking, Gary interprets the look of the reader allowing the synchronization of the speed of reading of the individual with that of the words given by technology.

"Using this principle, GARY detects the reader’s gaze on the digital text shown on the screen, monitoring whether the child is actually looking at the following word, which is then highlighted to facilitate reading. If the child interrupts the reading or is distracted, thus moving the gaze in other directions, the text reproduction aloud is interrupted. GARY, in this way, captures the attention of the reader, who returns to stay focused on the text." They explain about Biomedical engineering."

This mechanism of operation allows those who make use of it to live a completely personalized experience, which goes hand in hand with the needs of everyone. In doing so, those who follow these subjects so as to better know the problems and strengths of each and target the learning techniques that best suit their needs.

Gary for dyslexics and wants to learn a new language

The results of Gary’s study have shown that this type of mechanism is also useful for those who want to learn a foreign language. Especially if it is a language in which the sound of the words does not correspond to the handwriting of the same. Gary could therefore be of use not only to students, but also to those who need high language skills for work.

At this point I hope you have a little better understanding of dyslexia and all the other specific learning disorders, but if you have not yet fully understood them I recommend you to listen to this song.To know other basic requirements for being a good entrepreneur, click here.

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