Meet Haben Girma, the first blind and deaf graduate of Harvard Law School

Haben Girma
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Haben Girma is the first deaf-blind person to graduate from Harvard Law School and is an advocate for equal opportunities for people with disabilities.


The Eritrean-American’s epic journey starts five years before she was born when her mother trekked for two weeks to Sudan at the time when Eritrea went to war with Ethiopia. Girma told the Legal Secretary Journal that her mother walked at night “to try to avoid the different military groups fighting in that area”.

According to an update by Africa Story Live, Haven was pictured with America’s past president, Barrack Obama receiving a prize. See tweet below:

Haben Girma in a tweet in 2019 announcing her published book wrote;

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“My new book received a starred review from Publishers Weekly: “This is a heartwarming memoir of a woman who champions access and dignity for all.”

A Writer, Journalist and Researcher, Elias Amare also wrote;

“Congrats @HabenGirma! The title of your book, HABEN, just like your name, means pride/dignity in the #Eritrea|n language of #Tigrinya. We are very proud of you.”

Girma has received honours from leaders including former US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She has also become one of the leading voices in improving the accessibility of the digital world, where websites and apps are often not compatible with assistive technologies such as screen readers.

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