Jack Owens has a knack for all things tech: as a 17 year old student from Arlington, Virginia, Owens likely has more experience with assistive technology than anyone else his age. When Jack was diagnosed with dyslexia, he struggled with his school work. Both he and his parents were at a loss for solutions. Jack’s mother, in an effort to encourage Jack to keep learning, introduced him to audiobooks and immediately he was hooked. The more he used technology to assist his learning, the more he learned. Once he discovered these tools, he was eager to share them and others like them with his teachers; teaching them how to use Smart Boards, text-to-speech software, and other assistive technologies. Jack’s passion and know-how of these technologies spread, leading him to give annual presentations at his local Parent Resource Center, sharing stories about his experience with dyslexia and how it has impacted his learning methods. Owen’s platform gave him a chance to interact with other students like him, motivating him and his younger sister, who also has dyslexia, to form a support group for teenagers in the greater area who are experiencing learning difficulties. The group, More Than Dyslexics, has had over one hundred students sign up for the support email list and has held four social events for students to gather and learn from one another about how they are turning their dyslexia into their very own super powers.

Jack Owens