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.
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 RupoloNA 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 RupoloFrom 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