|Siblings Mussie Gebre|
|Parents Saba Gebreyesus, Girma Kidane|
Similar Alice Wong (activist), Claudia L Gordon, Helen Keller
Born 29 July 1988 (age 32), California, United States
Why i work to remove access barriers for students with disabilities haben girma tedxbaltimore
Haben Girma (born July 29, 1988) is an Eritrean American woman and the first deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School. As a staff attorney at Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), she worked on behalf of people with disabilities. In April 2016, she left DRA to take up non-litigation advocacy full-time. In 2013, she was recognized by the Obama administration as a Champion of Change.
- Why i work to remove access barriers for students with disabilities haben girma tedxbaltimore
- Meet the first deaf blind harvard law grad haben girma in progress oxygen
- Public appearances
Girma was born in California after her mother fled Eritrea in the early 1980s. Growing up in the US school system, she benefited from civil rights laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act. She also had accessible technology, such as a digital Braille device - something her elder brother, who is also deafblind, did not have access to in Eritrea. Ms Girma says she became a lawyer in part to help increase access to books and other digital information for persons with disabilities. Haben now works to change attitudes about disability around the world, including the development of accessible digital services: "Digital information is just ones and zeroes...It can be converted into any kind of format. And those people who develop these services — programmers, technology designers — they have an incredible power to increase access for people with disabilities. And I hope they use it.”
On July 20, 2015, she met with US President Barack Obama to highlight the importance of accessible technology.