My name is Kai West Schlosser, i was bon in the usa and grew up bilingwaly in germany. i was fasinated by creativety as a chiled so i ended up studiing at miami ad school in hamburg. today i work as an artdirector at serviceplan innovation in munich.
This is my Bio. exept fot one detail that you probabley notised: spelling is not my strength. on the contrarry, i hate reeading and wrigthting wich has often made life difficuld for me wthout it beeing my fault. when i was 11, i was diagnosed with dislexia, and since then i have struggled with the stiff strukture of every day live. eventhow moustly it is more komplicatet for me than for others, toay i am happy to be a dislexic becuase it has brouat me to where i am, and i wuld not traid it for (alsmoust) annything elce in the world.
dislexia is a spelling and reading disorder wich accurs in a diffrent manner for each person. you cant memorize spellings and praktising it dosent help eather. even wile reading it feals like you are reding it for the fist time.
1 in 5 peple are dislexic but moust peple dount even know what it is, or have ever herd of it. You dount see dislexia visualy therefor it is often not taken in to account. tipicaly dilsexics dount have good gredes and therfor do not fit in the normal schoolsystem. It also arizes paired with ADHD, therfor peple are usualy considert problematic or even stupid, and are sent off to specal schools. But that is not the realety. Steve jobs, albert Einstein or Andy Warhole are all dislexics.
this is not a medical jornal, so i will leave it there: peple with dislexia have written langwiche stored in a diffrent location of the brain than peple without dislexia. But this also means that we aproche problems diffrentley: on one hand our brain works diffrentty then others, secondly we dount consider the written langwiche as our fist aproche. So this means if i get a brefing, i will listen to it before reading it, then i wuld wach a few videos or listen to podcast about that topic befor i wuld even touch an artickle. (i wuld have never gotten this far). I can’t relay explain how the functioning of my brain works, but it works.
When you have spennt youre whole life figthting peple and sytems that are build against you, you become verry creative and hardnosed abut problem solving. Peple with dislexia are good at simplefing things and seeing the bigger picture. unlike peple without obsticals. We have lerned to not give up qikley or loos motivation – otherzie we wuld not get verry far in live. and thats how esay it is to turn a weeknes into a strenth.
In advertising, its all about problem solving and finding creative ways around it. that why it fits together like hand in glove. futher more, advertising is also know as a great 2nd carrer path where nobody relay needs a bachtlor degree annyway. As long as the final copy on the print ad is corect, the client is happy. all the wrigthing inbetween that is just formaetly and shuld not stop annyone from dooing there job. Others are good at wrigthing but i have lerned to find creative solutions. Where is the problem in that?
Recently, “Dislexic Thinking” has become one of the recoginsed Linkedin scill sets, and dictionary.com has redefined the term as it as “strengths in creative, problem-solving and communication skills”
Creativety also benifits from diversety: peple with diffrent backrounds bring a veriety of things to the table, and that is the basis of comunication in all indurtees. In the komunication buissnes, this is the basic prerequisit for a functioning “creative workshop” because without it, you cant relay solve problems, crativley nor efectivley.
Despite this, moust peple still hide dislexia (or other lering- disorders and disabilletys). There is also a reson for this! Becasue in the workign world we have not jet maneged to look past spelling mistakes (and other weeknesses) to recognize indivisualised strengths, and to use them efectevly to aceve a better result.
The supression and corection of mine and others written langwige irretated me to a point where i had to do somthing about it. As spelling mistakes anoied them the moust – i startet with that. For dislexia awayrness day, last september i wrote an unetided artikle like this for one of germans biggest magszines stern, with a sneek peek into my live as a dislexic, and every day things i have to deal with. All ot this with the goal of tolleranz and normalety of spelling mistakes in sosiety. The world wount end becasue of a few red dots.
It was amazing to see how this artikle reached so manny peple, who finaly understud what it means to be a dislexic and dislexics who finaly felt understood! Althow by defintition i cant even wrigth coretley, the artikle was nominatete for the axel springer award, germanys moust prestiges jung jurnalist award. My employer has given me the oppertunty to amplyfie my messige, by giving me the capasety to start the inicative Dislexia Unetided. I am now capnajing for exeptance of spelling mistakes in coceety, with the hope that dislexia will be seen as a strenth and not a weeknes. The idea is to make dislxia vissable by konciously publishing original and unedited content.
To all non dislexic peple: next time you read an email with spelling mistakes, think again about the potental of this person and how you can foster there talent, insted of labeling the person as lasy or stupid, or even trying to corect them. Create a work inviorment where everyone can be there best sef.
To all dislexics: (Respect that you have read this far) Be prowd of youre mistakes and dount stop beeing youreccelf just becasue other peple cant deal with it. that is there weeknes not yours. Wrigth it youre way with all the msiatakes, without corection.
Author: Kai West Schlosser, Art Director at Serviceplan Innovation