In November last year, The Law Faculty, in collaboration with Oxford Student Union’s Disabilities Campaign (DisCam), and Oxford Law Society, were delighted to host Haben Girma. Girma delivered the Law Faculty’s second Equality and Diversity Lecture, following on from Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE, President of The Supreme Court, who delivered the inaugural lecture last year.

Haben Girma is the first deaf-blind graduate from Harvard Law School and a renowned disability advocate globally. Girma fights for equal opportunities and equal access for disabled people. In recognition of her work, Girma was declared a White House Champion of Change by President Obama; she has received the Helen Keller Achievement Award; and secured a spot on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. With numerous accolades to her name and incredible story-telling abilities in both writing and speech, hosting Girma really was an honour.

Questions were posed to Girma by DisCam Co-Chair and Law Student, Rahul Bajaj, and the audience. As questions were asked, Girma’s typist entered them into a keyboard, which was connected via Bluetooth to a braille machine held by Girma. This allowed Girma to read the questions and provide a response. Girma’s replies were given verbally, as she has some hearing in high frequencies and has thus trained herself to speak in a higher voice.

The questions asked generated exceptionally interesting responses from Girma, with themes explored in greater depth within her memoir: “Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law”.

Below you will find the recording of the event and you can also read a transcript of it.