I moved from Japan to the US because of my Dyslexia. It was the only way for me to graduate high school.

Evelyn Sakura Brokering
4 min readNov 16, 2022

I had the pleasure of getting featured live on the Overcoming Dyslexia Podcast. For this article, I will like to elaborate on the topics we discussed.

🎉 The privilege of getting diagnosed and getting accommodations for school.

When I was 16, I moved from Japan, where I was raised, to America on my own because of my dyslexia. It was the only way I could possibly graduate high school because, sadly, dyslexia was not recognized in Japan. My school there had never heard of dyslexia and couldn’t provide me with any help. My parents made me hide my dyslexia in Japan because they thought if people found out about my dyslexia, I’d get bullied.

When I think back to my move from Japan, I feel very lucky and privileged that I had the opportunity to move to America, where I got a formal diagnosis and received accommodations for school.

🎉 Now I am building my career as a User Experience/product designer so that one day I can design assistive technology tools.

As you can tell, I am now super open about my dyslexia and embracing my talents through my career as a UX/Product Designer. I am advocating for neurodivergent needs in the digital product space.

Some people fear AI and the advancement of technology but I think we can use it as a tool to empower lives. “Text to Speech” technology is a tool I use daily and enabled me to graduate high school and college. I am developing my career so that one day I can design assistive technology tools like the ones that changed my life.

🎉 Dyslexia is not a “disability” but “neurodiversity.”

Dyslexia is a gift where we can think outside the box because we use the brain differently. Many intelligent people are dyslexic for example Steve Jobs has been one of my idols since I was young. No one knew they needed an iPhone, Steve Jobs thought outside the box and changed people's daily lives forever. Knowing he had dyslexia and created Apple was something that motivated me and reassured me that nothing is wrong with me.

🎉 The advantage of my dyslexia: my diagnosis shows that my “visual intelligence” is in the 90th percentile, off the charts.

It is important to spread awareness about dyslexia because this is a gift and it is not a sign of laziness or stupidity. We should embrace our dyslexia, not hide it or think it is a “problem.” Although it can be a disadvantage in school, it is an advantage to have dyslexia in the real world.

🎉 The dyslexia resources platform I am creating: A platform I wish I had when I was a struggling student in Japan with no resources.

This platform provides 1. user-rated resources 2. a discussion platform for questions and advice 3. accessibility settings tailored towards people with dyslexia. So users can find their ideal reading settings. And so that users can navigate the platform without obstacles. I conducted 2 rounds of user testing with people with dyslexia to improve accessibility and the features of the product. When participants were asked how often they would use this platform, the average rating was 9.25/10. Almost a perfect score!

Learn more about this project.

If you would like to help with this project, please fill out the Participation Form.

🎉 Last comment: Find how you can use your SUPER POWER!!

If I were to tell someone who is in the same shoes right now failing in the school system and getting a grade that doesn’t reflect your work, I want to say please don’t worry too much, school grades do not define you, you are smart and once you are out of the school system your intelligence will shine. There are so many creative jobs now like what I do as a digital product designer. Stay strong and don’t let anyone tell you or make you feel not smart. If you have Dyslexia you are lucky, you have a gift. Find how to use your superpower!

Overcoming Dyslexia Podcast

Thank you, Dr.Raye White and Keita A. Pratt for all the work you do for spreading awareness about Dyslexia. I was honored to be featured on this podcast 🙏 😊

--

--