The Power of Speech to Text: A True Story

What beautiful irony that Sean is now getting daily requests to “write” something for someone after spending the first few decades of his life getting hammered for NOT reading and writing.

Meet Sean Douglas, the founder and owner of The CodPast, a “fresh, contemporary resource for students and adults with dyslexia.”  

Here’s a brief version of his story:

Then:
Had no support for his dyslexia throughout his life including his university years
From 12 years old until at least 18 years old he never read a book
Lost employment because they thought he was “dumb”
Figured out his diagnosis on his own
Supportive mom helped him find his strengths and passions outside of the world of school

Now:
Age in the mid-30’s
Founding director of his own television and video production company
Founder and chief executive of The CodPast podcast site
Former cameraman, director, producer at a global bank

…and he also…

…”Writes” quite a bit…

What?!  How?  By using technology to circumnavigate the weaknesses in his brain that make it hard for him to write in the traditional way.  By using his considerable intellectual strengths and verbal abilities to educate and communicate with others without the bottleneck of actually writing or typing.  By using digital tools like speech to text.  

Sean started The CodPast because when he went searching for useful, interesting information about dyslexia all he basically found were the traditional, “text-heavy” sites that haven’t caught up to the digital media revolution.  (Oh, man, I need more videos and podcasts!)  His audience is international and growing quickly and he’s created a great mix of videos, podcasts and blog posts that are interesting and relevant to our dyslexic folks.  

What beautiful irony that Sean is now getting daily requests to “write” something for someone after spending the first few decades of his life getting hammered for NOT reading and writing.

Sean is a shining example of what we frequently espouse:  Never give up.  For dyslexics, the technology revolution is much more powerful, much more specific.  This is not to say that there isn’t a learning curve when using speech to text.  Everyone has to learn how to “dictate” punctuation, sentences, paragraphs, etc.  But with a little perseverance and creativity, using speech to text tools creates that bridge that allows bright dyslexics to communicate in the written form consistent with their intellectual capability…often for the first time in their life.  In Sean’s case, he endured decades of perceived failure, misunderstanding and needless suffering.  

Here’s another key point.  In a recent interview, Sean explained that one of the key factors that fed his resilience was his mother’s insistence that he find places to shine other than school.  Swimming, judo, scouts…Whatever it was…Sean’s mom made sure that he experienced competence and success elsewhere in life outside school.  She made sure that Sean was not defined by his dyslexia.

As with all of our inspirational stories, please keep Sean Douglas in your mind as you navigate the waters of helping a loved one grow up with dyslexia…or as you navigate the waters for yourself.  Know it can be done.  

Remember that tools like speech to text can literally change a life.  Get started.

Thanks to Sean Douglas for allowing me to tell a small part of his story.  Please be sure to visit http://www.thecodpast.org/ and sign up for his informative newsletter.