Secrets for Success: Lisa Allen

Assistive Technologist

“You don’t have to be successful at everything!”

Image of Lisa AllenBeing diagnosed with LDs was a very liberating experience for Lisa. “I’m not stupid!" she shrieked. Knowing how her brain worked (or did not) allowed her to seek help to find alternative ways to get any job done.“Once I came to terms with my LDs, my LDs made me the success that I am.”

Despite having problems with spelling, writing, reading and math, Lisa earned her degree in English Literature and her Master’s in Environmental Studies. She tutored students and even edited doctoral dissertations. Now, she is the vice-president of the Get Axxess Corporation, an adaptive technology company she and her partner John Morandin created in 2000. She enables this companies clients with learning, physical and mental health disabilities to succeed academically and vocationally, just as she has done.

Lisa lists the reasons for her success: “I have a voracious appetite for discovering, learning and persevering to find a way to make things work for each client. I also feel free to seek assistance from anyone who has the expertise that I don’t. So, if I can’t do it and I can’t figure it out, then I find the person who can. And, I accentuate my positives!” These are the skills she honed to meet the challenges of her LDs during her ten years at York.

Lisa believes that while it is important to acknowledge that LDs will affect your life in surprising ways, it is crucial to remember that learning to live with LDs may be more a benefit than a hindrance. Individuals can develop the skills and strategies they need to function independently and successfully in whatever they do. Moreover, these same strategies can be used by others to live, learn, work and play more effectively.

From her experience as an entrepreneur, Lisa has learned that hurdles are surmounted by developing mature personal coping strategies. “Living with my LDs has taught me compassion, caring, understanding, creativity, connection and joy. I thrive on being an asset to others in recognizing, communicating and ultimately eliminating their struggles.”