Dean Bragonier is the Founder and “Executive Dyslexic'' of NoticeAblitiy, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to, “helping students with dyslexia identify their unique strengths and build self-esteem.” Shaped by the challenges associated with his own dyslexia and wanting to help his son Bodhi, who is also dyslexic, Dean decided to create an after-school strength-based program for students with dyslexia. Dean partnered with the Harvard Business School, the Harvard School of Education, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), among others, and created a middle school level curriculum that helps dyslexic children learn in different ways.
Dean wanted to change the conversation around dyslexia and make it a more positive one. In 2015, Dean began a 50-nautical-mile swimming adventure to draw donations for NoticeAbility, to hit the intended $145,000 target for curriculum development. Through Dean’s passion for education and his conviction that the advantages of dyslexia far outweigh its associated challenges, Dean was able to take the donations from his swimming adventure to build NoticeAbility’s first curriculum entitled, Entrepreneurs & Innovators. The organization is now globally leading the way to target those individuals with dyslexia that may not have the resources or the level of awareness in their home or in their classroom. NoticeAbilty unlocks the power of the dyslexic mind, enabling students to be exposed to the professional paths, in which most people with dyslexia find success.
In this interview with our Different & Able President and Founder, Alexandra Nicklas, Dean shares his personal journey with dyslexia. He also discussed how highlighting the cognitive advantages of dyslexia empowers the individual and benefits society at large. By looking at the unique mindset of students with dyslexia as a strength, Dean reframes a perceived weakness as a powerful tool and teaches us all a lesson about the importance of an open mind and an open heart.