About Haben

Photo of Haben

An internationally acclaimed accessibility leader, Haben Girma has earned recognition as a White House “Champion of Change”, Forbes 30 under 30 leader, and BBC Women of Africa Hero. The first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben champions equal access to information for people with disabilities. She has been honored by President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, and many others.

Haben offers accessibility and diversity training, consulting, and professional speaking services. Haben combines her knowledge of law, sociology, and technology to teach clients the benefits of fully accessible products and services. Her insights help to expand our thinking, creating lasting, positive change among people and communities.

People with disabilities represent the largest minority group, numbering one billion worldwide. Reaching a group of this scale creates value for everyone. Organizations that prioritize accessibility benefit by gaining access to a much larger user base, improving the experience for both disabled and non-disabled users, and facilitating further innovation.

Watch Haben teach 4,000 developers the connection between Disability & Innovation at Apple’s 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference.

Haben has been featured extensively in media round the world, including the BBC, CBS, Forbes, the Washington Post, MTV, NPR, and many more.

Haben grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where she currently lives. She holds a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. In addition to her accessibility work, she enjoys salsa dancing, surfing, and traveling the world.

Email questions or comments to shown to non-JS browsers

Follow Haben on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin.

Featured News and Media

President Barack Obama types to Haben at the White House

Haben talks with President Obama at the White House 25th Anniversary celebration of the ADA. (Photo by Pete Souza)

Haben introduces President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the 25th Anniversary of the ADA at the White House

Thank you so much, Haben, for that amazing introduction, and for working to make sure that students with disabilities get a world-class education, just like you have.

— President Barack Obama

Haben speaks at TEDx Baltimore 2014

Haben speaks at TEDx Baltimore 2014 on her education and her advocacy work at Disability Rights Advocates. Plain text Transcript.
May 4th, 2014|

Disability & Innovation: The Universal Benefits of Accessible Design, by Haben Girma @ Apple WWDC 2016

Plain text transcript.
June 28th, 2016|

Haben Awarded the Alexandrine Medal and Delivers Commencement Address at St. Catherine University

St. Catherine University honored Haben Girma with the Alexandrine Medal on May 22, 2016. Named after the Egyptian scholar Catherine of Alexandria, St. Catherine University awards the Alexandrine Medal to women who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to public service. Past recipients include Dorothy Day, Ann Bancroft, and Maya Angelou. Haben is the youngest person to receive the Alexandrine Medal.

After receiving the award, Haben delivered a deeply moving commencement address for St. Catherine’s graduating students.

Enjoy her remarks below.

June 27th, 2016|