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I am a 32-year-old with dyslexia. I’ve been pretty successful and went to college and grad school. I had great teachers and accommodations and modifications when I was in school and was able to work around my disability a lot of the time. Now that I’m working, I’m finding one area that’s always been a problem is cropping up — my spelling is terrible and my work emails are full of errors.

My friends and family understand when they get emails from me that there might a lot of mistakes, but I still spend hours going over everything I write trying to make sure it looks professional. Spell check on the computer helps, but the problem is it doesn’t always pick up the mistakes I make. Sometimes I write a word correctly, but it’s the wrong word. Or I spell something wrong, but it doesn’t get picked up.

Sometimes if I have to write something really important for work, I send it to my brother first and ask him to proofread it, but I can’t keep doing that. Are there any technology tools that I can use?

This is a common issue for adults (and kids!) with dyslexia. It can be particularly challenging when you have a word spelled correctly, but your usage is wrong. Swapping “their,” “they’re,” and “there” is a great example. A traditional spellchecker won’t identify the mistake, so you may not discover it.

Fortunately, there are a growing number of technology tools and apps that can help check your writing to make sure that you have made these types of errors. Google Docs(opens in a new window) has a built in free grammar checker that works much better than Microsoft word. In addition, Google Docs has an add-on feature called the Consistency Catcher(opens in a new window), which will catch any variations in spelling, abbreviations, titles, dates, etc. There are also a number of great apps, such as Ginger(opens in a new window) and Ghotit(opens in a new window). There two contextual spellcheckers work in a similar way, by identifying both incorrectly spelled words and those that might be incorrect based on the context of the sentence (i.e. saying “they’re dog” instead of “their dog”). Grammarly(opens in a new window) is another free great technology tool that helps catch errors in writing, especially for adults that are looking to enhance the clarity and readability of their work.  Find other software and technology tools that could help with your writing in the TechMatrix.(opens in a new window)

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