Monday, 21 December 2015

First Deaf-Blind Harvard Law Graduate Is An African

Eritrean-American Haben Girma, is the first deaf-blind graduate at Harvard Law School and she is a true inspiration in every way; living proof that being disabled is certainly no barrier to achieving academic excellence.

Ms Girma was born blind in California after her mother fled Eritrea in the early 1980s.

Growing up in the US school system, she benefited from accessible technology, such as a digital Braille device - something her elder brother, who is also deaf-blind, was denied in Eritrea. 

Her academic achievements include, a “J.D. in 2013 from Harvard, and her B.A., magna cum laude, in 2010 from Lewis & Clark College.” 

Now she is working as a lawyer to try to improve access to this technology and challenge expectations of people with disabilities.

Earlier this year, she met US President Barack Obama. 

Using a digital device that displays Braille characters, Haben Girma talked with President Obama at a White House ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
She's really come a long way!

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