The “Gift of Dyslexia” – Executive demonstrates how technology helps him with learning disability at USF Sarasota-Manatee presentation

On Friday, April 1 at 1:00 p.m., the Department of Disabilities and Diversity at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) will present a workshop featuring Davis Graham, executive director/CFO of Manatee Diagnostic Center and USFSM alum.  Graham has had to overcome hardships due to dyslexia, and will provide a demonstration of how high tech programs can help students overcome obstacles in a learning environment and in the business world.

Dyslexia is a learning disability that occurs when there is a problem in areas of the brain that help interpret language. It can impair a person’s fluency or accuracy in being able to read, speak, and spell.  Most people with dyslexia have normal intelligence, and many have above-average intelligence.

The inability to read and write often seems life-threatening to a dyslexic person,” said Graham.  “I want to help people with disabilities see that they can overcome those obstacles to be successful.  Some brilliant dyslexics become corporate executives because of their intuitive gifts for ‘seeing’ the correct strategy and mobilizing the work force.”

Graham, who uses text-to-speech software to read e-mails, contracts, and other print documents, will describe how he has successfully incorporated technology into his life, both professionally and personally.  He currently uses Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFBD) and Bookshare for reading books, and Dragon Naturally Speaking, a speech-to-text software program, for writing.

The event will be held in Room B327 at USFSM, located at 8350 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.

The mission of Students with Disabilities Services is to encourage and support students with both temporary and permanent disabilities. For more information, contact Pat Lakey, coordinator of Disabilities and Diversity, at (941) 359-4714 or

USF Sarasota-Manatee is an upper-level university for those with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree interested in pursuing a baccalaureate or master’s degree, professional certification, or continuing education credit.  USFSM offers the prestige of a nationally ranked research university with the convenience of a hometown university, including classes in south Sarasota County.