French author overcomes dyslexia to publish novelby Annalisa Lista - 2016.03.08
Phany Barrailler, a French woman in her forties, has written since she was teenager, but she always kept her short stories to herself. They were full of mistakes because of her dyslexia. Then she decided to overcome her insecurity and showed her stories to a trusted professor. She hasn't stopped since, first obtaining a degree in pharmacy and then getting her first successful novel published – Rêve No.1: Djohar . It tells the story of a Pakistani journalist's adventures, inspired by a true story. It was a challenge to write but the author achieved it and spoke to West about her experiences.
Mme Barrailler, what were the challenges you faced in preparing the book for publishing?
Correcting my mistakes. When I wrote for myself, I didn't mind too much about making mistakes. But writing a book for the general public means that a lot of people will judge you. So I used automatic correction in modern Word programmes for PC. However, they don't always recognise the typical mistakes that dyslexics make, such as inverting letters. So I asked my friends and family for help but even so, some errors got through. I decided to leave the mistakes here and there in the final version of the book, just to show that you can be a writer and be understood despite being dyslexic.
When did you find out you were dyslexic? What problems has it given you?
It was my mother who noticed mistakes in my reading and writing. So she took me to see a speech therapist for five years. At school I really had difficulties, especially in middle school, where I was very slow at taking notes in class. Also, I froze when it was my turn to read out loud in class and everyone laughed at me. At work, despite some minor improvements, I continued to have problems. Even today, I can't pronounce, write or read some words correctly. That means I have to explain to my bosses about my problem every time.
What does dyslexia mean to you?
It makes me feel different, but in a less negative way than when I was little. I arrived at this conclusion after a lot of suffering. As a child, I saw things very differently and considered my disorder to be a real problem. With this book, I wanted to show that this is not the case. Where there's a will, there's a way. If you are highly motivated and you have the tools, you can achieve goals despite difficulties. Also, after watching a documentary recently about a man born without arms or legs, who is happy to be alive, I am even more convinced that dyslexia is not such a serious problem.
Romania is betting on tourism for disabled
The Romanian city of Constanza will become the first in Europe to have a beach dedicated exclusively to disabled individuals. The therapeutic will be developed on a plot of land that is 22,000 square meters and will have an access ramp, special areas for sun-bathing, a special sensorial zone that Read More.
How many blind people are there in the world
36 million people in the world have some kind of visual impairment, according to a study recently published in The Lancet showing results up to 2015. Worldwide, moderate and severe visual defect rates have been significantly reduced by the improvement in living conditions, public health programs, developing treatments such as Read More.
The global tactile printing market is constantly expanding
The global tactile printing market is expected to witness a significant growth with increasing investment in braille printing technologies. It was valued at US$ 1,250 Mn in 2016 and, according to a recent study by Credence Research, is expected to grow by 4.5% through the forecast period 2017 – 2025. In Read More.
New USA program of bike-sharing for disabled citizens
Portland is the first American city to adopt a bike-sharing city for disabled citizens. “Adaptive Biketown” is the program sponsored by Nike and it allows individuals to rent a special bicycle for less than $5 an hour. Each bike is adapted to the special needs of this unique population: for Read More.
Resistance training slows the progression of multiple sclerosis
Resistance training slows the progression of multiple sclerosis and even reverses brain shrinkage. A study published on the Multiple Sclerosis Journal shows, for the first time, that exercise can actually halt the progression of the neurological disease. Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients are told that is helpful to stay as healthy Read More.
Book series dedicated entirely to young readers with dyslexia
Dyscool is a book series entirely dedicated to young people with dyslexia. This initiative was born of a partnership between two publishing houses: the first, an innovative start-up, Mobydys, specialized in creating digital materials for cognitively diverse readers and inventor of digital books for dyslexic children; and the second, Nathan, Read More.