Haben Girma takes any excuse that we have right off the table. Haben Girma was the first deaf-blind graduate of Harvard Law School. Today she’s a lawyer at Disability Rights Advocates, a accessible technology campaigner and a keen surfer. She’s also our sixth #WomenOfAfricaunsung hero.
She says, “I grew up facing access barriers as a deaf blind person, and that inspired me to become a lawyer. And work to remove access barriers facing people with disabilities around the world. Graduating from Harvard Law School says a lot about what can be done when people have the right attitude. About 12 years ago, I attended a camp for the blind and met an amazing blind dancer. She taught me my first swing and salsa lessons. I also do tandem surfing. Surfing feels very liberating and exciting. And I love being able to connect with people and to share tactile, kinaesthetic languages. We should try to move towards a more inclusive world, so that it’s no longer a big deal for a deafblind person to go to law school.”
Honored as a White House Champion of Change, Haben Girma is a celebrated speaker, she provided the introductory remarks for the 25th Anniversary of the ADA at the White House. Her TEDxBaltimore Talk has garnered over 175,000 views.
Haben joined Disability Rights Advocates in 2013 as a Skadden Fellow, and became a Staff Attorney in 2015. She helped achieve a legal victory in National Federation of the Blind v. Scribd, the second case to hold that the ADA applies to e-commerce. She received her J.D. in 2013 from Harvard, and her B.A., magna cum laude, in 2010 from Lewis & Clark College. Haben lives in Berkeley, California.
See her families story here: http://madamenoire.com/…/such-an-inspiration-meet-haben-gi…/
See TedX talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvoj-ku8zk0