Biography About The Screener

Joanette Woods (screener), an advocate for individuals with disabilities such as learning disabilities (reading, writing, and math), AD/HD, autism, intellectual disability disorders, traumatic brain injury (TBI), dyslexia, and other medical conditions. Mrs. Woods has over 20 years of teaching experience in public education and in 2014 transitioned into corporate America contracting with the Texas Workforce Commission in the area of Vocational Rehabilitative services. She provides supports to students transitioning out of high school into the workforce with the assistance of community resources. Moreover, for those students graduating from high school with dreams of entering into post-secondary education she has been able to make their dreams become reality (stpac.org). Joanette Woods has made it her life’s mission to help others who have a difficult time advocating for themselves.

Joanette’s Story

Joanette understands what it is like to have difficulty reading and comprehending written information because she too was classified with a learning disability. From elementary school all through high school she never enjoyed what so many of her friends loved to do (read books and magazines). Throughout her school years she was consider an underachiever and lazy which hurt her self-esteem, often wondering what was wrong with her. She always found herself studying with the lights off however, her parents would tell her to turn the lights on so she would not go blind. Then, she would turn the light on to study and after 5 to 10 minutes she would fall asleep.

It was not until 1998 when her daughter’s second grade teacher sent home a letter about Irlen© Syndrome asking permission to test her. Considering her daughter was having the same difficulties she agreed to the screening. The results came in and her daughter had Irlen©. Once Joanette found out it was heredity she was tested in 1999 at the age of 28 and she too was diagnosed with Irlen©. Once she received her filtered overlays she was able to read without getting sleepy and tired, because she wasn’t having to try to decipher letters to figure out the world. You see her symptoms consisted of a glare on white paper with black print, the words would move, the letters were separated and they looked 3D. Joanette’s transparency color at that time was blue-gray but she was recently tested the summer of 2018 and it has changed to aqua. Just think, a color changed the world she once knew and she has never been the same. She now reads with ease and she is able to comprehend what she reads. So, you see she never had a learning disability it was the brains perception of what she was seeing causing the distortion. She wonders what her life would have been like had her parents knew about Irlen© syndrome and had her tested in elementary.