Jared Blank is a marathon runner and a published author, but not everything was perfect at the beginning for him. Jared was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was just five years old which affected him immensely as a young boy. When working on school assignments he discovered that he struggles with tasks that took someone else one hour, which might take him three. But today, as a marathon winner and an author he can share how he overcame his obstacles thanks to assistive technology.
“For me reading a page is like running a 5K mile. A book is even a marathon”. As Jared moved through grades at school, he learned that academic success for himself would be a matter of hard work and endurance. He was told that graduation wasn’t a possibility and that he could not get any higher grades than C. He talks about the shame and self-doubt that came with it when he was taken out of the class to the resource room to go to extra tutoring, “When you are young, it feels like you didn’t belong.”
With the support of his family and community, Jared beat the odds. He graduated from USC and then went on to earn two Master’s degrees. Furthermore, Jared published a book where he talks about how dyslexia helped prepare him to run the world marathon challenge.
“For me, the OrCam read is a tool that can put people with dyslexia on an equal playing field.”
As the Vice-President of the Oregon Chapter of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Jared can see the huge value of an assistive device that helps break this barrier of words. OrCam Read enables anyone with a reading challenge to read any printed or digital text with a click. The only assistive tech that captures full pages at once, doesn’t require WIFI and it reads back in real-time.
Thanks to OrCam Read Jared can read more freely. Access information easily and independently by himself with no need to rely on others. He can enjoy reading books, magazines, phone and computer screens with no struggle. Things like work and dating do not have their challenges anymore.
After using this device, Jared gladly shares with us that the device is a game changer for him saying OrCam helped him read and understand faster. With the OrCam Read Jared can read and hear the text, and observe what he is reading. Allowing him to process the information better.
“I wish I had this when I was in school. The OrCam Read has improved my life by making me more efficient. It puts people with Dyslexia on an equal playing field.” Jared Talks About His Journey on Dr Phil.
Comparing reading to running a 5K mile, Jared also adds that when he reads there’s a level of anxiety that he experiences. For example, when he is out with friends it’s a challenge for him to read restaurant menus and needs to be resourceful to handle the situation without people noticing. According to Dr Bryan Wolynski, Jared is only one of the millions of Americans who struggle with reading.
Running The Distance
Jared continues to consult numerous schools about the educational challenges of dyslexia and feels a real sense of responsibility to the dyslexia community. He sees the whole playing field, what students deal with, what families are going through, and the education system where he believes that the teachers are in it to help these students.
But even with the right training, you can only get to a certain point. When you need to function at a higher level, OrCam can be that bridge. It is his experience and challenges from his dyslexia that made him passionate about it and is one of his life’s goals to raise more awareness about dyslexia and help others and that includes informing others about how technology like the OrCam Read can change their life.
OrCam offers a solution and changes the game.
“If I could use it in school, I think it would have been like being in a Ferrari. Read and understand faster, and do much more.” Jared concluded.
Read Easily, Anywhere, Anytime
People with mild low vision, reading fatigue, reading difficulties including dyslexia, and anyone who consumes large amounts of text can benefit from the OrCam Read. The OrCam Read converts printed or digital text to audio, as well as entire pages at once.
This device empowers people with dyslexia and allows them to be more independent. The device is not only easy to use, but it’s also intuitive. Just like Jared demonstrated, simply point and press a button and give your command to the device where to start reading.
Jared says he was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was 5 years old. “Reading and writing were big challenges, so I felt lost,” he says. Despite having difficulty learning and reading, Jared says he went on to graduate from college and then earned two master’s degrees. Still, Jared says everyday tasks can be frustrating, and things like work and dating have their challenges.
“It is very exhausting when you have to put that much energy into getting one task done,” he says.
Dr Bryan Wolynski, a low vision optometrist and spokesperson for OrCam, says the company, which makes portable devices for vision assistance, has developed the OrCam Read specifically for people with reading challenges such as dyslexia, traumatic brain injury, low vision, and more.
“The OrCam Read allows anyone with a reading challenge to instantly read digital and printed text,” he says. “It’s the only assistive technology that allows full page capture which doesn’t require any WIFI, and also does it in real-time.”
The OrCam Read converts text into audio, enabling individuals who use the device to read anything they want.
“It’s been a game changer in my life,” says Jared. “The OrCam Read has helped me at work, and I’ve become more confident with doing everyday tasks.”