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About Haben

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Haben Girma has earned recognition as a White House Champion of Change, Forbes 30 under 30, and BBC Women of Africa Hero. The first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben advocates for equal access to information for people with disabilities. Haben holds a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College. Because of her disability rights advocacy she has been honored by President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, and many others. Based in San Francisco, Haben enjoys salsa dancing, surfing, and traveling the world.

Haben has been featured extensively in media around the world, including the BBC, NBC, Forbes, NPR, and many more. If you work in media, please read this brief guide on producing positive disability stories. You can read Haben’s FAQ and featured work.

Speaking & Consulting

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.

Topics

Disability & Innovation: The Universal Benefits of Inclusive Design

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.

Advocate for Inclusion Because We’re Worth It

We all choose to either tolerate the oppression around us or advocate for justice. The daughter of refugees, disabled, and a woman of color, Haben developed a powerful path to success, rooted in her belief that inclusion is a choice. She mastered self-advocacy and furthered those skills through legal advocacy. Haben helped increase access to a large library of digital books for blind readers in a 2014 landmark case. Watch her teaching students to advocate for justice in this Commencement Address.

Communication Strategies for a Winning Story

Powerful stories drive successful businesses. Compelling stories communicate what sets an organization apart and how that difference serves as an advantage. Haben Girma is a talented storyteller who helps people frame difference as an asset. Born Deafblind, Haben fought off low expectations, choosing to create her own pioneering story that has led to international acclaim. Through an engaging presentation, Haben provides participants with communication strategies for developing a winning story.

Contact

Send speaking requests, media inquiries, and other questions to ERROR: Javascript required to display email address.. Follow Haben on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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

Haben had the honor of introducing President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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. So please give Haben a big round of applause.

President Barack Obama

The Clinton Global Initiative University loved Haben’s keynote.

She got out of Harvard, and you know what she’s doing? She is an advocate for opportunities for people with disabilities. Because in fact they have enormous ability, and all over the world that ability is going untapped, diminishing their lives and the rest of ours as well. So let’s give her a big round!

President Bill Clinton

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.

June 27th, 2016|

Haben’s White House Remarks

Haben had the honor of introducing President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Plain text transcript.

July 21st, 2015|