My Interview with Sean:
Can you please give us a brief description of The Codpast?
dyslexia. We hope it will be a place where
people can come to hear positive stories that they can identify with and pick
up tips and advice. Ultimately though, we hope it will be a place where people
can come to find compelling and interesting content.
understand that you were diagnosed with dyslexia as an adult. What impact
did this have on you as a person and a professional?
dyslexic. The diagnosis just meant I had
confirmation and a certificate to prove it. At that point, I was a news
cameraman which utilized a lot of my
dyslexic strengths, so once I got the diagnosis I kind of just forgot about it.
Many individuals with dyslexia have genius qualities. What do you believe
are your most amazing talents?
something I have to work at incredibly hard. However having everything organized
is what allows me to function in the kind of work I do now. For instance I have
about 12 email addresses. Most people would see this as a huge pain but for me
this is great. I see each inbox as a folder, so for me this is actually a
system where emails automatically sort themselves into the correct folders. This is a bit time consuming to set up but once it’s up and running is saves me
What are the ways that dyslexia creates challenges for you?
takes forever and takes a huge amount of energy, especially when
trying to convey a complicated concept. As the world now relies more and more
on text-based communication, this is a bit of an issue. Whenever possible, I will give someone a call. Even if it takes me a
few days to get hold of
someone on the phone, I know that in a 5 minute conversation I can achieve what would have taken me
of email writing.
to my site or listen to the podcast. I try and keep the
guests as varied as possible, so hopefully there will be many guests that
can personally identify with. I also want to make the site quite fun and
contemporary, so we do things like our Top 10 videos.
Who were the two most interesting people you interviewed and why?
standout for me are Episode 5 with Aakash Odedra and Episode 6 with Peter
Stringfellow. I think Aakash’s story shows how important it is to accept your dyslexia. He had achieved so much in his life, but it wasn’t
until the age of 21, he had an incident with his passport which forced him to accept that dyslexia was a part of him. This allowed him to take
his career to the next level.
and roll tale, incorporating the Beatles, Marvin
and Stevie Wonder. But at its core, it reinforces the fact that in life things
don’t always plan out the way you thought they
would. Although it may be difficult at the time, in hindsight these mishaps are
generally the things that push you in a new direction you may
never have thought of.
What have you learned from creating the Codpast?
how dyslexia has shaped the person I am. It’s great connecting with other dyslexics and realizing there are other people
that do some of the weird and quirky things that I do. When you realize there are a whole group of people doing the same
things as you, they suddenly become less strange.
producing The Codpast has also given me the confidence to be less apologetic
about being dyslexic. It’s also made me more pro-active in doing
things and obtaining information in the ways that best suit me and yield the
What can people do to support your effort?
spread the word. I would love people to tell their friends,
retweet and share our posts on Facebook and Twitter. Another thing that really
boosts the show’s visibility is when people subscribe to the show on iTunes and
leave 5 star reviews; this helps the show get on the featured list on
iTunes. There is also a donations page and any donations large or small really
supports this cause as, at the moment, I fund the show myself.
I also had the great opportunity to Skype with Sean. We had fun sharing our passions and experiences. One area that Sean discussed was the different types of assistive technology that he utilizes. Here is a list of his four favorites:
- ClaroRead: ClaroRead is text to speech software for the internet as well as scanned books and documents. It includes visual tools such as colored text, highlighting, and it offers an enhanced spell check, homophone check and thesaurus. ClaroRead can even read the words as you type.
- AudioNotetaker: Audio Notetaker offers a visual and interactive form of note-taking where audio, text and images are used to create comprehensive notes.
- Global AutoCorrect: Global AutoCorrect allows you to focus on your writing as it automatically corrects your spelling as you type.
- Encrypted dictaphone: This device records audio and is converted to another form that can not be easily understood by anyone but the authorized parties.
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY. To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz
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