Seventeen-year-old Brian Meersma embodies the term self-advocacy.

After being diagnosed with dyslexia in the third grade, Brian decided to dedicate much of his free time learning how to use assistive technology, exploring resources to help him read and write better, and helping others with similar learning challenges.

He received the 2013 Yes I Can! Award from the Council for Exceptional Children for his perseverance and hard work.

​Meersma has witnessed the introduction of six bills to the New Jersey State Assembly pertaining to how dyslexia is addressed in public schools. He has won awards for community involvement and has traveled to Capitol Hill to seek support for educational issues.

​For several years now, Meersma has dedicated much of his time to exploring how assistive technology can help those with learning disabilities. He has presented at national and local conferences on the benefits. He also writes his own blog that provides information, tips, and videos from assistive technology vendors.

​To read more about Meersma’s incredible journey, visit The Bookshare Blog. ​You can also check out his own personal blog.


"Thank you very much for featuring my son, Brian Meersma, as a Success Story on the University of Michigan DyslexiaHelp website. It is especially meaningful, as I am a University of Michigan alumnus (BS College of Engineering 1985). My wife, Kathy, and I are very active in the dyslexia community and can report that the DyslexiaHelp website is a 'go-to' resource for our family and many others—keep up the good work!"
—Steve Meersma