MVYRadio: Vineyard Current – Segment from July 23rd on NoticeAbility and the new CONSENSES curriculum!

Join NoticeAbility July 25th in welcoming Thomas West to discuss his new book: Seeing What Others Cannot See

Thomas West - Seeing what others cannot see

Excited to announce that Thomas West, the pioneer author in the dyslexic advantage field, will join Dean (RSVP here) at his talk at the Field Club in Edgartown on 7/25 at 6:30. Having penned landmark books like In the Mind’s Eye and Thinking like Einstein, Tom will be signing his newest release Seeing What Others Cannot See.

The proceeds of all book sales will benefit NoticeAbility.

NoticeAbility launches its second curriculum: Consenses


Many of the world’s greatest artists are dyslexic (Ansel Adams, Pablo Picasso and Anthony Hopkins to name a few). With our Entrepreneurs & Innovators curriculum in full swing, NoticeAbility shifted gears mid-winter to focus on building its arts-based curriculum.

Meet Sally Taylor. A prolific musician, a dyslexic and a visionary in the art world, Sally has created an arts-based curriculum that has garnered international acclaim (see her Ted Talk). As luck would have it, Sally is married to NoticeAbility’s founder, and the potential for collaboration was simply too hard to ignore. Beginning this fall, NoticeAbility will launch its arts-based curriculum, called ‘Consenses’.

Please contact us to learn more:

Facebook Consenses


Donor update with Dean and student alumni on MV on July 25th

Tuesday, July 25th at 6:30 – 7:45pm
@ The Field Club (6 Field Club Ln, Edgartown)

NoticeAbility’s pilot program in the Martha’s Vineyard Public School District was an amazing success. Please join Dean and a handful of student alumni for an update on the program (including a demonstration of the curriculum, a review of our metrics and, most important, an opportunity to speak with our amazing students). To RSVP, please email:

2nd Annual Kids Swim for Dyslexia Relay in Galveston Bay with Kerry Swims-for-Dyslexia Yonushonis

Swim for Dyslexia

Between May 19 – 21, 2017, weather dependent, a team of student swimmers will attempt a historic open water swim by swimming the length of Galveston Island in the Gulf of Mexico. The distance is approximately 30 miles, with each swimmer completing a portion of the swim in a rotating relay format.

Swimmers of the 2nd Annual Swim for Dyslexia

2nd Annual Kerry Swims for Dyslexia Swimmers

All of the swimmers have dyslexia or have a family member / friend with dyslexia they are supporting. In addition, this event is being organized by Marathon Open Water Swimmer and Stellar Dyslexic, Kerry Yonushonis, along with her Business Partner and Stellar Mother of a Dyslexic, Courtney Turpin.
Each team member will raise funds for NoticeAbility, a non-profit dedicated to helping students with dyslexia identify their unique strengths and build their self-esteem. They incorporate the neuroscience of dyslexia, the best practices of special education, and the technology of Silicon Valley to construct learning curricula and teacher training programs for global distribution.

Donate Now



  • Please make checks payable to ‘New Profit Inc”  
  • In memo line mention  PLEASE mention ‘NoticeAbility Inc’

New Profit Inc.

Attn: P. Dao / NoticeAbility

200 Clarendon Street, Floor 44

Boston, MA, 02116

Social Media: 

NoticeAbility will be following Kerry’s preparation and swim this summer on social media.

Kerry’s Facebook: Kerry Swims for Dyslexia 

Twitter: @NoticeAbilityLD

NoticeAbility Facebook: NoticeAbility

Follow the Hashtags:‪

Bruins, Bratwurst and (root) Beers

An intimate fundraising event with two of Boston’s finest + 45-minute conversation with Brad and Dominic
(what it takes to become a professional athlete and the responsibility it carries) + 45-minute Scrimmage: Team Marchand vs Team Moore
(player lines will be divided by skill level & will receive equal ice time)

February 3rd, 6-8 pm
Cambridge location
Only 24 Ticket Packages will be sold
Ticket Package = Student Skater + Parent Attendee
$1,000 (tax-deductible)
Contact us to purchase tickets.

MVTimes: Dyslexia takes center stage

Owen Metell gives Permapaper a thumbs up. —Stacey Rupolo

Dyslexia takes center stage

Martha’s Vineyard students with dyslexia pitch their creativity at Alex’s Place.

How do you protect important papers from an unfortunate coffee spill? What’s the most effective and convenient way to use technology to find lost items? How do you make man’s best friend available on demand? On Thursday, Dec. 22, three teams of students from Dean Bragonier’s innovative educational curriculum for students with dyslexia — Noticeability (NA) — gave their sales pitches for these ideas to a packed audience at Alex’s Place.

Dean Bragonier, owner and founder of NoticeAbility, introduces his students, who will be presenting business plans they created over the semester. —Stacey Rupolo
Dean Bragonier, owner and founder of NoticeAbility, introduces his students, who will be presenting business plans they created over the semester. —Stacey Rupolo

NA is a nonprofit organization that caters its curriculum to the strengths of the dyslexic brain, and seeks to empower students to wear their dyslexia like a badge, rather than a mark of shame. It just concluded its debut semester in the Tisbury, West Tisbury, Edgartown and Charter schools. Two years ago, the Times reported on founder Dean Bragonier’s efforts to raise funds by swimming around the Island over a six-week span, and his successful launch of an Island program last summer.

At the heart of the NA curriculum is the fact that while certain things, like reading and comprehension, are more difficult for students with dyslexia, there are other areas where they excel. “We have an ability to look at a situation and identify seemingly disparate pieces of information and blend those into a narrative or a tapestry that makes sense to us that other people can’t see,” said Mr. Bragonier. “This translates into an exceptional level of success in entrepreneurship, engineering, architecture, and the arts.” He cites that 35 percent of entrepreneurs are dyslexic, 40 percent of millionaires are dyslexic, and 50 percent of NASA employees are dyslexic.

The focus of NA’s first semester was building students’ entrepreneurial skills, culminating in a simulated “Shark Tank” episode at Alex’s Place where three teams presented an everyday problem, formulated a business plan to solve it, and worked to convince a packed audience of the effectiveness of their solution. The students radiated confidence and seemed excited to be in a safe, positive environment where they could express themselves.

Emily Anderson explains how to use the Boxlets phone application, which would help people locate lost items. —Stacey Rupolo
Emily Anderson explains how to use the Boxlets phone application, which would help people locate lost items. —Stacey Rupolo

From the Tisbury School, Ben Yancey and Owen Metell gave a convincing demonstration of their product, Permapaper, which is designed to prevent damage to important documents. In a skit the pair wrote, Mr. Yancey, dressed in a ski outfit, is ready to go on a field trip when he trips and spills hot chocolate all over his permission slip (as well as some of the audience in the front row). Mr. Metell explained how their product could have prevented the accident, and Mr. Yancey endorsed the innovative paper with a big grin and a strong thumbs-up. The duo were charming and persuasive, and they clearly enjoyed the experience of performing.

A trio of Charter School boys conceived of Zipdogs, a dog-rental service that eliminated the downsides of pet owning. The team proposed partnering with the MSPCA, renting out dogs to its customers, and taking care of all pet-related expenses. They created a prototype of the dog facility through Minecraft, a video game that allowed them to build digital models, and led the audience on a tour of their building. Christian Turner explained the nuts and bolts of the company’s business model, while Jack Hayden and Kent Healy demonstrated different scenarios where Zipdogs would be effective.

“Families want a dog but can’t have them because they are too busy, don’t have enough money, or they live in an apartment,” said Mr. Turner. “Elderly people also want a dog to help them get in shape, to get rid of their old-man body.”

Yvette Turner, Mr. Turner’s mother, was awed by seeing her son speak onstage, especially after struggling for many years in school. “Nobody wants to have an issue at school,” she said. “Christian really, really struggled. This program has been wonderful for him and his self-confidence. He has more self-confidence; he can actually talk with his friends and his peers. He feels good about himself with them. His reading has taken off.”

Edgartown trio Emily Anderson, Michaela Benefit, and Marina Lee concocted a

Jack Hayden pretends to be an old man in need of a dog, which he could rent through their company Zipdaogs. —Stacey Rupolo
Jack Hayden pretends to be an old man in need of a dog, which he could rent through their company Zipdaogs. —Stacey Rupolo

solution to the age-old question, Where are my keys? Their company, In the Box, would provide its customers with the ability to track items small or large. A microchip called Boxlets connects to a smartphone application and bracelet that alerts a person, through a tone or electric shock, if they’re moving away from an important item.

“Yes, this is about coming up with a business plan and going through this process,” Mr. Bragonier said after the presentations, “but more important, I think, it’s about what you just saw. For this kid [referring to himself], when I was a sixth grader, the last thing I ever wanted to do was be identified publicly as being dyslexic or having a learning difference.

“I think that each student has experienced a revelation to one degree or another,” Mr. Bragonier said. “I have seen individuals who are apprehensive or, shall we say, bared some of the scars that I recognized in myself at that age, that were a result of believing that because we have difficulty learning how to read that we are somehow deficient. I’ve seen a lot of those scars filled in by evidence that they are gathering of what makes their brains so powerful.”

“I really liked the class,” Ms. Anderson said. “It gave me a new perspective on learning disabilities and how you can create your disability as a pro, not a con.”

“I feel like knowing that there are more people out there with the same disability as us makes it more comfortable and more welcoming to know that we’re not alone with dyslexia,” Ms. Benefit said.

The Edgartown class, Emily Anderson, Michaela Benefit, and Marina Lee, designed Boxlets to help people locate lost items. —Stacey Rupolo
The Edgartown class, Emily Anderson, Michaela Benefit, and Marina Lee, designed Boxlets to help people locate lost items. —Stacey Rupolo

“I have pretty bad dyslexia,” Ms. Lee said. “I’ve always been told what I can’t do. But this program has told me what I can do.”

“I won’t say we’ve created a panacea, but we’ve created a counterbalance,” Mr Bragonier said. “I’ve seen a lot of these kids become invested in this notion that there is a silver lining to dyslexia. And that’s really what our objective is, to build that confidence.”

NA is currently taught in juvenile detention facilities, youth nonprofits, and a handful of schools in Massachusetts, including one in Chelsea, and on Martha’s Vineyard. Mr. Bragonier looks to expand into the Oak Bluffs School and the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School soon.

“If this is any indication of the future of this learning-difference movement, we’re crushing it, we’re absolutely crushing it,” Mr. Bragonier said.


Stacey Rupolo

– Stacey Rupolo (Dec 28, 2016) See more:

1st Annual Kids Swim for Dyslexia Relay in Galveston Bay with Kerry Swims-for-Dyslexia Yonushonis


On October 10, 2016, weather dependent, a group of dyslexic youth swimmers will join marathon open water swimmers, Kerry Yonushonis and Katy Dooley, for a 1st Annual Kids Swim for Dyslexia Relay in Galveston Bay. The distance is approximately 6 miles in total, with each swimmer accomplishing a portion of the distance in a fun, non-competitive swim to raise awareness of the strengths and grit of dyslexics.

During the summer of 2016, Kerry Yonushonis participated in the first ever Bicoastal Aquathon which included two separate open water swims on the West Coast and East Coast. The Aquathon was designed to raise awareness and funds for NoticeAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower students with dyslexia to reach their academic and personal potential.

“I am excited to be hosting and organizing the 1st Annual Kids Swim for Dyslexia Relay in Galveston. I was so inspired by the enthusiasm, grit and determination the relay team had in Martha’s Vineyard that I knew I wanted to create a similar event here in Galveston at some point. Luckily, October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month, and the perfect timing for this collaboration between community and swimmers.” Yonushonis explains.


ABOUT NOTICEABILITY: NoticeAbility is a nonprofit organization that designs and delivers proprietary curricula to students with dyslexia. Grounded in social-emotional learning research, executive function methodology and project management techniques, NoticeAbility offers authentic inquiry experiences in vocational subjects that cater to the neurological strengths of the dyslexic mind: entrepreneurship, engineering, architecture and narrative storytelling (film, literature and stage).

Your donation helps NoticeAbility create curriculum for and by dyslexics.


  • Please make checks payable to ‘New Profit Inc”  
  • In memo line mention  PLEASE mention ‘NoticeAbility Inc’

New Profit Inc.

Attn: P. Dao / NoticeAbility

200 Clarendon Street, Floor 44

Boston, MA, 02116

Social Media: 

NoticeAbility will be following Kerry’s preparation and swim this summer on social media.


Kerry’s Facebook: Kerry Swims for Dyslexia 

Twitter: @NoticeAbilityLD

NoticeAbility Facebook: NoticeAbility

Follow the Hashtags:‪

Forbes: How This Founder Gets The World To Care About Dyslexia


Dean Bragonier at work // Photo by Bruce Wahl

Dean Bragonier at work (Photo by Bruce Wahl)

How This Founder Gets The World To Care About Dyslexia

I first met Dean Bragonier, the founder ofNoticeAbility — a nonprofit changing the world for students with dyslexia — after I saw him pitch at aPower Launch‘s Pitch In Event in Boston. Pitch In is essentially a Shark Tank for Nonprofits and I love attending these events because you can learn a lot by watching executive directors pitch their organizations to the judges and audience. It’s fun to get a glimpse into how donors decide where to invest their funding and it’s interesting to see the way in which people use stories to demonstrate both their impact and their need.

Anyone who has ever appealed to an individual (versus a foundation) knows that the strength of the pitch can be the most important factor in a successful outcome. It’s the pitch — the story, the appeal — that donors often base their initial decisions on (the due diligence comes after a pledge has been made). I don’t know if Bragonier was an actor in a previous life, but his pitch was captivating (if you don’t believe me, you can watch his Tedx talk here). Dyslexia is a condition that affects an average of 20% of the population, and I watched Bragonier convince the other 80% of the room that, as a society, we share a collective responsibility to reimagine opportunities in education for our dyslexic youth. As someone who has helped develop innovative curriculum for dyslexic middle schoolers, it’s clear that Bragnoier spends a lot of time thinking about how he structures content and presents data. Here are a few things you can learn about pitching your cause by studying how he does it:

Be Vulnerable, But Also Credible.

Anyone can be vulnerable — but it’s tougher to be both vulnerable and credible. Within a few minutes of chatting about his work, Bragonier will openly talk about his own experiences with dyslexia, sharing insights into the struggle and isolation he endured as a student.

He recalls walking down the hall and hearing things like, “That guy Dean? Kid’s so dumb he can’t even read.” And hearing his teachers consistently tell his parents, “Your son is a smart kid, if he just tried harder. I think he’s a little lazy.” By middle school, Bragonier had internalized all of this and, given his low self-esteem, he gravitated towards other students who were engaged in at-risk behavior like drugs and violence. (Studies show that up to 35% of dyslexics drop out of high school.)

Most of us are compelled when we see others being courageous and vulnerable, and being honest in this manner can be a great way to establish trust and create genuine connections. I saw the founder of a cancer charity begin her pitch with, “When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I felt angry and powerless and full of self-pity.” Immediately, she made herself relatable and you couldn’t help but lean in to want to hear the rest of her story. You are rooting for her before you even know why.

When talking about his work, in person or onstage, Bragonier always makes a bigger leap from citing his own suffering to sharing broader research related to students today in order to help his audience understand the depth of this issue. He quotes experts who have studied dyslexia. He knows what all of the literature says and this makes him credible. He cites psychologist Gershen Kaufman, who discovered in his study on shame culture, that people who struggle to read report feeling the same levels of personal shame as those who have engaged in incest. At this point, Bragonier has laid the foundation for explaining to people why this matters to them.

Explain The Problem, But Focus On The Opportunity.

Psychologists have long since established a correlationbetween shame and rage, and it is easy to imagine the negative consequences that a disenfranchised population can have on society. A disproportionate number of youth with dyslexia are represented in juvenile detention facilities andsubstance abuse rehabilitation centers. Some studiesestimate that almost half of all offenders in correctional facilities demonstrate symptoms of dyslexia — an incredibly heartbreaking statistic however you look at it.

But breaking people’s hearts, alone, isn’t going to get you where you’re going.

One of the best pieces of fundraising advice that I’ve ever read was, “People give because you fill a need, not because you have a need.” By that same token, I’ve found that most donors are compelled to give because you have inspired them with possibility, not filled them with pity.

Immediately after explaining the problem, Bragonier shifts the conversation to talk about the opportunity, explaining that according to The Dyslexia Center, dyslexics, it’s been proven, see the world differently, a fact which leads to several key advantages. Many dyslexics are often natural problem-solvers, creators (entrepreneurs) and builders (engineers). Some of ourbrightest minds have been dyslexic: Albert Einstein was dyslexic, Steven Spielberg is dyslexic. It’s a significant thought, to consider that all of these folks might have been left out of our school systems today, simply because they process information differently.

Close With The Solution And Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously.

Bragonier is passionate about dyslexia not only because he wants to end the isolation and pain of kids who are excluded from our education system, but because he sees dyslexia as a gift. He will tell anyone who will listen (and anyone will listen to him) about the fact that 35% of entrepreneurs are dyslexic. According to Bragonier you don’t “suffer from” dyslexia, you have the gift of dyslexia…if you are given access to the tools to harness it.

And that is what he has set out to do.

Bragonier explains, “I want my dyslexic students to become self-actualized people. I want them to be positioned to tackle some of the biggest problems that the world faces.”

In order to do this, NoticeAbility has developed a project-based online course that in-classroom facilitators deliver. The content teaches information through multiple mediums (outside of the written word) and is focused on showing dyslexic middle schoolers how to capitalize on their strengths, rather than battle their weaknesses. One course helps student create their own business plans.

If you are wondering, “Why middle school?” then you have never been to middle school. Sixth grade is where the map of your academic future is laid out and carved in stone. No more running around with gangly arms and knobby knees. Sixth grade is the major leagues, right where that door of innocence begins to slam.

It’s in this space that Bragonier hopes to reach dyslexic kids with his innovative curriculum. Motivated by their potential, NoticeAbility shows students what’s possible when you have access to material that “clicks.” When you are taught by mentors who speak your language, when you are working with students who are not “any number of disordered” but who are like you — dyslexic, gifted.

While Bragnoier is speaking, my mind wanders to my own first grade for a moment. I was born and raised in England, but when I was 6 years old, I moved to America for a few years. The transition was tough, and a bit lonely. I remember telling my dad one day that kids in my class were making fun of my accent. Without missing a beat, my dad explained to me, “You are not the one with the accent darling, they are.”

In my six-year old mind, it was a revelation.

At the heart of Bragonier’s pitch and work is a call for society to stop shutting these bright and smart kids out of our school systems. Not because it’s cruel, but because we are wasting the potential of natural-born problem solvers, inventors, creators. And boy, do we need those things right now.

As he wrapped up, we were on the edge of our seats, and a judge warned him that he only had a few minutes left, to which he responded, “Do I get extra time because of dyslexia?” The audience erupted in laughter, compelled and inspired by this man’s mission. The chatter as we filed out of the building confirmed that most folks felt like me: that while we have no shortage of dyslexic role models, it’s time for a dyslexic champion.

It’s no small feat to move, inspire and educate a room full of donors all in one pitch. I suppose that even as adults, we never really lose those middle school nerves, always wondering, “Will I do a good job? Will they like me?” Whether you knock it out of the park or fall flat on your face, the single biggest takeaway we can learn from Bragonier is that being passionate is contagious and speaking up for those in need always makes you the cool kid.

Leila de Bruyne Leila de Bruyne , Women@Forbes,  9/14/2016

See more at:

Dyslexic Before it was Cool
NoticeAbility Contact

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