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.
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.