Haben Girma Keynote Speaker
- First Deafblind Graduate of Harvard Law School
- Former Skadden Fellowship Attorney - Disability Rights Advocates
- Author of "Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law"
Haben Girma's Biography
Haben Girma is a human rights lawyer, public speaker and author. She is the first deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School and uses her platform to advocate for disability rights. As a keynote speaker, Haben believes that disability creates a space for innovation, and she educates organisations on the value of embracing inclusion.
Since 2016, Haben has been a disability justice lawyer, offering corporate presentations and consultations on management, inclusion, and accessibility. Accessibility is good for business. Ultimately, it helps improve a company’s public image and profitability and facilitate innovation per changing consumer demands – all while gaining access to a much larger audience that will feel welcomed regardless of their ability, status or economic background.
Haben is a former Skadden fellow and staff attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, using community outreach and legal activism to promote civil rights for Americans with disabilities. She began her legal career as a legal intern for the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and later served at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In 2019, Haben published Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law, a memoir discussing her experiences living with combined vision and hearing loss and the rights of others with disabilities. In the book, she demonstrates her determination to experience life to the fullest and the ability to find optimism in the present and future of humanity.
Haben is recognised as a champion for people with disabilities and has received many awards and recognition for her services. She was among New African magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential Africans, Pacific Standard‘s Top 30 Thinkers Under 30 and Forbes‘ 30 under 30. She was also recognised as a White House Champion for Change by the Obama administration.
In line with her social services duties, Haben was a board member of Helen Keller Services for the Blind.
Haben holds a Doctor of Law degree from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College.
Haben works tirelessly to break down barriers and ensure that people with disabilities can participate in all aspects of life. She has addressed global audiences and organisations, including Apple, the New York Times, Oxford Law, Standford and TEDx. She inspires audiences with her story of overcoming adversity and provides practical advice on how everyone can help create a more inclusive world.