Dona Sarkar speaks about having dyslexia to help others with disabilities

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What you need to know

  • A Microsoft news post shares how Dona Sarkar helps herself and others overcome learning disabilities.
  • Sarkar found out she had dyslexia five years ago but began speaking about it more to help others last year.
  • Sarkar uses a number of tools to help her, and shares how to use those tools with others.

Dona Sarkar, head Ninja Cat of the Windows Insider Program, is featured in a Microsoft news piece that focuses on using tools to address learning disabilities. Sarkar was diagnosed with dyslexia around five years ago but generally kept it to herself until last year, initially not feeling the need to explain her dyslexia to others. Now, Sarkar speaks to groups and shares stories on how to use tools to overcome learning disabilities.

Sarkar was initially inspired to share more after watching a Microsoft video that shows a boy reading for the first time using Microsoft Learning Tools. Sarkar now uses many of those tools herself, including OneNote’s Immersive Reader. According to the news post, seeing the video helped her realize that disabilities like dyslexia are common and that she could help support others and raise awareness about learning disabilities.

Sarkar is quoted in the news post saying,

“Many people have dyslexia and feel the need to hide it, because they don’t want to look incompetent. I feel like I represent others, because if I don’t understand something, there’s probably at least one other person in the room who also doesn’t understand it.

Sarkar has talked about her disability on stage to over 1,500 people and demonstrated how tools such as Immersive Reader, Focus Mode, and other Office tools help her manage her reading.

Sarkar is quoted later in the news post saying,

“By doing so, you make a far safer space for employees to open up about their disabilities. I don’t want anyone to feel like they don’t belong or can’t succeed in tech because they have a disability.

Sarkar shared a story in the new piece about how she spoke up in a meeting and said she had trouble reading a specific chart. Her coworkers explained the chart right away and as a result she felt included and connected.

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