Thalese Barnes


Utah branch of Decoding Dyslexia helps empower individuals 


When I found out that this article was going to be published, I was terrified! Not in a negative way, but in an empowering way. I was motivated to get my thoughts on paper and express my passion to the reader. I thrive when I am sharing my passions.

I elected to write about a personal issue, dyslexia. I have struggled with dyslexia my entire life. During my research, I came across an article about a mom who became an activist for dyslexia. Her child was dyslexic. She became a voice for her child and other children diagnosed with dyslexia. I was inspired by the power of one’s voice. Dyslexia needs many voices — both loud and soft. People need education around neuro disabilities. The future is bright and hopeful.

Understanding dyslexia has come a long way. A learning network for dyslexia started in 2012. The name of the network is called Decoding Dyslexia.

As I looked more and more into it, I saw that there had been national networking for dyslexia since 2012; the network is called Decoding Dyslexia. By just researching, I knew the direction I wanted my story to go but wasn’t entirely sure where I wanted it to land.

Professor Mangun encouraged me to interview the activist’s mother, Phoebe Beacham, to help me direct this story more. I ended up going to a coffee shop with Beacham and talked with her for two hours. I had so many questions, and she answered so many questions that had been weighing on me for years. She led me to the cofounder of Decoding Dyslexia in New Hampshire and a man here in Utah who is a successful dyslexic.

I focused my article equally on my three interviewees. I wanted the reader to feel the emotion of a person with dyslexia and feel the pain and heartbreak from this disability. At the same time to have hope for the future because of the movement Decoding Dyslexia.


I was born and raised in the red rocks of Southern Utah. I am a lover of life. I love watching any musical, walking my dog, singing at the top of my lungs to Taylor Swift songs, being outdoors and my personal favorite: being around people. I am currently attending the University of Utah, majoring in Communication with an emphasis in Strategic Communication. I enjoy everything about Salt Lake City and the U! The best decision I ever made was to attend the University of Utah. Go Utes! My aim in life is to make the people around me feel comfortable and needed. That will always be my end game in every aspect of my life.