Haben Girma is an outstanding deafblind attorney, advocate, and public speaker. She has inspired and empowered people with disabilities to follow their aspirations by drawing on her experiences. Her tale is one of overcoming obstacles, pushing limits, and succeeding in spite of all the odds. In this article, we will summarize Haben Girma's inspirational story as chronicled in her autobiographical book Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law.
Haben Girma was born to Eritrean immigrants in 1988, in California. She was given an early diagnosis of deafblindness, which resulted in her having restricted vision and hearing. Her parents gave her the resources she needed to succeed and encouraged her to learn Braille and American Sign Language (ASL). Haben had attended neighborhood schools before enrolling in Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where she studied sociology and anthropology and graduated with a Bachelor's degree.
That wasn't an easy path for Haben. She had to deal with several difficulties, including inaccessible textbooks, films without captions, and a dearth of accommodations for her condition. She used her experiences to push for change, refusing to allow her disability to hold her back. She advocated for people with disabilities to have equal access to technology, education, and information.
The White House became aware of Haben's advocacy activities and invited her to take part in a conference on disabilities. She met former president Barack Obama there, who urged her to apply to Harvard Law School. She graduated from Harvard Law in 2013 and became the first deafblind person to do so. She has since used her degree to advocate for disability rights, accessibility, and inclusion.
In her autobiography Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law, Haben describes how she overcame obstacles to become a successful deafblind attorney. The reader is taken through Haben’s experiences navigating college and Harvard Law School, as well as growing up as a person with disabilities. The book also details her advocacy work and demonstrates how she uses her legal training to advocate for the inclusion and equality of individuals with disabilities.
Apart from being a bright lawyer, Haben Girma represents people with disabilities. Speaking about her experiences as a deafblind person and inspiring others to overcome their own hurdles, she has given seminars and lectures all over the world. She has received multiple accolades for her advocacy activities, including recognition as a Champion of Change by the Obama White House.
Throughout her advocacy activity, Haben emphasizes the value of accessibility as one of her main points. She believes that technology can be an effective tool for removing obstacles and enhancing accessibility for people with disabilities. Haben herself uses a variety of assistive technologies, such as a Braille device and screen-reading software, to navigate the world and communicate with others.
Haben is a shining example of what is possible when you don't let challenges hold you back. Any person who has ever felt constrained by their circumstances will find inspiration in her story. Haben has demonstrated that anything is possible if you have the courage to pursue your dreams through dedication and perseverance.
The life of Haben Girma is a monument to the strength of tenacity and willpower. Her advocacy work has transformed lives of many people with disabilities, and her accomplishments have motivated others to follow their ambitions. The motivational and inspirational memoir "Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law" is a must-read for anybody seeking encouragement to overcome obstacles and succeed.
Photo Credit: YouTube, Haben Girma, Presidential Remarks on the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (C-SPAN)