Did you know that dyslexia is the most common learning disability in the world?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves reading, writing, and spelling difficulties due to problems identifying speech sounds and relating to letters and words. 70-80% of people with reading deficiencies are likely dyslexic, and while more than 40 million U.S. adults have dyslexia, just two million have received an official diagnosis.
This shocking number of undiagnosed cases shows our society’s need to better understand the learning disability, which is the ultimate goal of Dyslexia Awareness Month. According to Correy, a software engineer at TDS, common dyslexia symptoms begin to show themselves as people get older.
“I wasn’t formally diagnosed until 2007, and dyslexia doesn’t really start showing itself in most people until third grade,” said Correy.
While Correy and his family suspected he had dyslexia around third grade, he did not receive a formal diagnosis until sixth grade. This is the case with many dyslexic people, as reading and writing become more rigorous in the later stages of K-12.
According to Correy, receiving that formal diagnosis was a pivotal moment in his life, for several key reasons.
“For me, it was really just a big sigh of relief and helped put things into perspective,” said Correy. “It allowed me to realize that dyslexia was something I had, and that it wasn’t going away. In time, I think the diagnosis allowed me to turn what could be perceived as a weakness into a strength.”
In time, Correy learned to view dyslexia less as a disability, and more as a “tradeoff.” As he described, there are clear drawbacks, like reading and writing deficiencies. But as Correy grew older and continued learning more about himself and dyslexia, he learned that dyslexic people tend to thrive in other intellectual areas.
“As a result of dyslexia, I think I make connections a lot faster, I have a very strong memory, and I also think it boosts my creativity,” said Correy. “There have always been many dyslexic musicians and artists. Personally, I feel like I thrive in a lot of technical areas, which is why IT has been such a great career fit for me here at TDS!”
Outside of his day-to-day duties as a software engineer, Correy also serves on the leadership committee of TDS’ ABLE Associate Resource Group (ARG)—which seeks to provide opportunities for all associates who are impacted by disabilities in some form, to come together to achieve a better life/work environment.
TDS offers many different resource groups for associates to discuss and engage with one another about various important life topics—professional development, Diversity and Inclusion, sustainability, patriotism—and more. Correy joined the ABLE ARG right when he began his career at TDS in 2018.