black-board-dyslexiaMy life as a severely dyslexic person can be overwhelmingly frustrating, upsetting, humiliating and just down right depressing sometimes in the text based world.

I really hate paperwork. The thought of filling in a form or having to search through piles of data looking for the letter you were supposed to rely to but forgot or the form attached to a letter to be filling in and returned with the envelope provided and having to search for all three then get help to fill them in from my son is such an ordeal.

But worst of all is being at a meeting with other people and someone passes round the handout or the minuets of the last meeting. I just sit there and pretend that am reading like everyone else. There is no way I can read, my brain just does not decode at such times. Also I can feel my anxiety levels rise as soon as the text appears. I am sort of going in blind if you like. I can contribute verbally and sort of play catch with the subject at hand, which I can do well, due to years of practise.

It is extremely difficult for me to use text to convey me thoughts and feelings. I am afraid I will be ridiculed and laughed at for the strange spelling or grammar. It is also it’s not easy for me to identify a word correctly with the spell checker I think looks right but in fact turns out to be the wrong word that leaves the sentence incoherent and ridiculous. So I always have to get someone else I trust and who will not humiliate me who can proof read for me. I have friend who will help me, she is a journalist and a word expert.

I have had no proof reading for the post so please excuse grammar, spelling and word out of context.

My PC and the net is my lifeline and not a luxury, I am not dyslexic online. I used to use a screen reader and it helped greatly. For the first time in my life I could see what it was like for a non dyslexic to just pick up text and read without having to decode. I could read a article at normal speed or rather the reader read it to me at normal speed. But sadly the program malfunctioned and I could not find another program that was free with a voice that suited me. I miss my wee genie voice it helped so much.

I believe every dyslexic person should be provide with a PC, screen reader (if it suits them, not every dyslexic like’s using them) and free internet access by government as a way to level the playing field a little. Also if I have to fill in forms I believe I should be able to do this on online version. I can manage forms online.

I just wanted to give you a glimpse into my world and the every day torture of text for me and am sure many other people with dyslexia. I don’t feel that people without dyslexia even give a thought to the difficulties dyslexic people have with text based tasks they can do automatically.

By Colette Mengiles