IDEA Speech

Good Afternoon, my name is Haben Girma. I live with both vision and hearing loss, and have been deafblind since about age five. When my parents enrolled me in the Oakland Public School District in California, IDEA had been influencing the education of students with disabilities for nearly twenty years. My parents did not have [...]

April 5th, 2012|

BuildOn Speech

The Saharan sun attacked my sunscreened skin. The 130-degree temperature was almost unbearable. I bent over and shoveled sand repeatedly, until exhaustion forced me to pass the shovel to the next member of my team. I had come to West Africa to help build a school for 800 children eager to learn. These eighteen days [...]

April 5th, 2012|

Keynote at OSEP’s Project Directors Conference

Working to improve education for students with disabilities is important to me. My knowledge of special education has expanded through this summer's internship with the US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. A good quality education propels children towards productive adult lives. Throughout my educational journey, from elementary school in Oakland, California to law [...]

April 5th, 2012|

MLK Day Speech at the Perkins School for the Blind

Thank you for having me here today. Some of the most well-known disability rights advocates have passed through the Perkins School for the Blind, most famous, of course, were Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. They left Perkins intent on making the world a better place. Since that time, laws have been created to ensure [...]

April 5th, 2012|