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.