Ep. 87: Why Dyslexic Students Can Excel in Tech with Jeannette Roberes

Jun 28, 2022 | 0 comments

We often talk about ways to help students with dyslexia while in the classroom. But what happens when they are ready to enter the workplace and they still feel like their learning challenges will hinder them? There is a place for everyone and, in reality, those with dyslexia are a true asset to many companies, specifically those in the tech industry.

Today’s guest is Jeannette Roberes and she wears a lot of different hats. She is an author, speech pathologist, educator, and software engineer. While it sounds like a disconnected career path, Jeanette has used her multitude of experiences and passions to guide her to her role today: an advocate for individuals with dyslexia to pursue careers in tech. She works tirelessly to help organizations be better equipped and accessible to those with dyslexia, and she helps companies understand that individuals with dyslexia come with their own set of superpowers that can be a true asset.


Show Notes:

[2:21] – Jeannette is on the board for Smiles for Speech and she explains her role there alongside previous podcast guest, Sandy.

[4:06] – As a speech pathologist, Jeanette found the work extraordinary and she explains how she became an advocate for those with dyslexia.

[5:34] – Jeannette is also a software engineer and she shares why she sought a career change by utilizing her interests.

[7:01] – This experience allowed Jeannette to see how she could be multi-passionate. 

[8:03] – In the past, we’ve seen our parents and grandparents work one job for their whole career, but things are different these days.

[9:12] – She now focuses on helping technology companies hire neurodiverse individuals.

[10:27] – Dyslexia is a language-based disorder that results in a high level of difficulty in reading. Dr. Wilson shares a bit about dyslexia.

[11:12] – Jeannette’s book outlines ways for employers to create accessible work spaces for those with dyslexia and what they bring to the job.

[12:33] – Many educators are not familiar with dyslexia and are inadvertently providing their students with a negative experience.

[13:49] – There is a mindset shift that needs to take place for not only employers but for those with dyslexia to know that they are valuable.

[15:54] – We want to tap into our interests and work in a space that allows us to do that.

[17:17] – Jeannette and Dr. Wilson discuss tools that can be used to better prepare someone with dyslexia to become proficient in technology.

[19:16] – There are several products available and assistive technologies that have a huge impact; however, many parents and students think it is “cheating.”

[21:22] – It is not the case that working harder results in success. It is so much more than who works the hardest.

[24:02] – No matter the learning difference, we need to embrace every dynamic, including employers.

[26:43] – Not only do employers and educators need to embrace their differences, individuals need to know that they are assets.


About Our Guest:

Jeannette Roberes is an author who has worked as a speech pathologist, software engineer, and educator. She has spoken in over 40 countries and has earned recognition in The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report, among other media acknowledgements. Jeannette’s commitment to life-long learning is noted through her LETRS ® early childhood facilitator certification, TEACCH ® , Fast ForWord ® and PROJECT READ ® curriculum certifications. Her debut book, Technical Difficulties: Why Dyslexic Narratives Matter in Tech, has received 5 star reviews across Goodreads and Amazon. Jeannette is the chief academic officer of Bearly Articulating and a board member of Smiles for Speech.


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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.