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Pursuing a colorful, barrier-free career with O.I.

Category: inclusion, inclusive workplace, inclusive employer, Accessibility & Inclusion, Accenture, Physical Disability, Workplace Inclusion, Disability Inclusion, Disability Inclusive, disability support, Disabilities, disability at work, inclusive employment

Disability

I was born with osteogenesis imperfecta (O.I.), a collagen deficiency that affects bone strength, causing them to be extremely fragile.

But even 50 fractures and 90% physical disability couldn’t defeat my spirit.

 

Sai Kaustuv Dasgupta

 

Confined to the walls of a tiny room for six years, I had no choice but to discontinue my studies. But I refused to be limited by my disability and resolved to leap forward in life—even if it was in a wheelchair.

I started dabbling in graphic design on my computer, using the mouse with just one finger. I was slow, but I knew I’d continue to improve my skills.

Today, my passion for design has found its purpose at Accenture.

Thanks to Accenture’s supportive work environment, I am valued for the skills I can offer, as opposed to seeing my disability as a barrier to overcome. I am encouraged to be myself and empowered with assistive technologies, tools and training to deliver great work.

 

The break of a new dawn

My father used to carry me everywhere in my childhood days. I couldn’t visit public places and required assistance in everything. 

In 2009, my condition deteriorated as the fractured bones became deformative. That’s when I was completely confined at home—for years. We lived in a small flat, and even watching the sunrise was a distant dream for me.

Designing was my one ray of hope. I put all my energy into honing my talent through free online courses. After years of learning and practicing, I was ready to create my own sunrise—one beautiful design at a time.

It’s been a long road for me but with patience and positivity, I’ve been able to turn my disability into a gift. Outside of work, I’m a singer, composer, author, motivational speaker (TEDx) and a Limca Book of Records holder for fastest virtual typing speed (28 words in 52 seconds) with one finger.

I was also honored by People Matters, one of Asia's largest media organizations, as the fourth global leadership icon with a disability, along with Helen Keller, Stephen Hawking and Srikanth Bolla. 

 

Going places with the best people

I was invited in 2018 to give a keynote speech at the Accenture Hub in Bangalore. I had been searching for a role with a company with an inclusive culture and commitment to accessibility—and I found what I was looking for at Accenture.

For the first time in my life, at age 28, I was able to earn a livelihood and enjoy job security—and I love my job. Here, I’ve been able to knock down barriers and build a colorful career and life.

As a Graphics & Production Analyst, I design a wide variety of collateral such as brochures, invites, posters and infographics for our Sales & Proposals team’s clients in Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Russia and many other countries around the world.

It’s fun to learn something new every day—it helps me evolve as a designer. When I work alongside some of the most talented people from the industry who bring their unique skills and perspectives to the table, I’m pushed to innovate and infuse creativity into everything I do.

Over the years, my leaders and colleagues have made me believe that acceptance is more important than expectations, and that has truly boosted my confidence. They have been extremely supportive of my passions—especially in my endeavors to inspire millions of young people in the country and beyond as India’s only differently abled certified happiness coach.

 

Accelerating equality for all

I am proud to be part of an organization that takes disability inclusion very seriously and is actively hiring, engaging and empowering persons with disabilities. Accenture consistently launches new initiatives to create greater awareness about the needs of and day-to-day challenges for persons with disabilities.

Accenture is also focused on removing barriers in technology to make its people, regardless of their ability, more productive. For example, I use a virtual keyboard with the help of a mouse to type and do my design work efficiently.

 

Forging new paths for others

Life gave me two options—to stay in my comfort zone and suffer for the rest of my life or to break out of the ordinary and inspire thousands of others like me.

I was determined to prove to the world that persons with disabilities possess unique talents and capabilities. And when organizations like Accenture give us, an often-under-recognized group, the opportunity to showcase our talent, we can harbor higher ambitions, spread happiness and forge new paths for others with disabilities.

I am proud to be part of a great culture of inclusion and diversity at Accenture—at the core of it is respect for people.

It inspires me to be myself every day. Learn more about Accenture, where you can be yourself and embrace the power of change to truly make a difference.

 

Sai Kaustuv Dasgupta is a Graphics & Production Analyst for Accenture in India.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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