Fareham man creates Dyslexia Toolbox app

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BUSINESSMAN Gary Smith was not going to let his dyslexia hold him back – he created an app to help other people suffering from the same learning difficulty.

The 24-year-old entrepreneur set up Brainbook, a company specialising in health and educational software in the form of mobile apps and desktop programs.

BRIGHT IDEA Gary Smith has created an app for people with dyslexia         Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (14712-2) PPP-140318-112951001

BRIGHT IDEA Gary Smith has created an app for people with dyslexia Picture: Ian Hargreaves (14712-2) PPP-140318-112951001

Now, two years on, the former pupil at Henry Cort School in Fareham has seen the company’s first app, Dyslexia Toolbox, downloaded more than 8,500 times and says he is hopeful for the future.

Gary, of Shearer Road, Buckland, said: ‘These are exciting times for the company as we seek further investment to take the company to the next stage.’

Dyslexia Toolbox addresses the major issues faced by more than 10 per cent of the UK population who have dyslexia, allowing them to engage with technology more effectively.

Gary said: ‘It’s in its early stages, but it’s basically a hack – a legal hack.’

The app has functions such as providing colour overlays, taking photos of text and converting it to an easier format and translating websites.

Gary was diagnosed with dyslexia in 2012 and used that was inspiration to start up the business. Since then his app has won acclaim and picked up an award for being the Best Startup Award for Business and Mentor at the British Bankers ‘Association Excellence in Enterprise Mentoring Awards.

He said: ‘I feel proud. We’re not doing what other people and companies are doing, we are doing something different.’

MP for Fareham Mark Hoban visited Brainbook and met with Gary to hear about the company and the help he received in a £3,500 loan from the government-backed Start-Up Loan Company.

Mr Hoban said: ‘We know that dyslexia can hold people back from realising their full potential and Gary’s app helps them by making the text more accessible.

‘Not only has Gary’s Start-Up loan helped him turn his dream of setting up his own business into a reality, it will also help more people with dyslexia get on in life.’

For more on Brainbook go to brainbook.co.uk. Download the app from the Apple app store.