Haben Girma: #ADA25 and Advancing Technology

haben-white-house-ada-25-speakingHaben Girma serves as a Skadden Fellowship Attorney at Disability Rights Advocates in Berkeley, California. Honored as a White House Champion of Change, and the first Deaf blind graduate of Harvard Law School, Haben works to dismantle digital barriers online for people with disabilities. Watch her speech at the White House—described as amazing by President Barack Obama—celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the ADA and introducing our President. Also check out Haben’s engagingTEDx Talk describing her work as a pioneering public service lawyer.

Haben’s activism has roots right here in Portland at Lewis & Clark College due to a longing for chocolate cake and access to the cafeteria menu. Her next big move was pushing for TEDx to publish their talks with captions. As it turned out, she had just given her TEDxBaltimore talk on accessible technology for people with disabilities. After TEDx posted her talk, it turns out that her own community couldn’t access it. Thanks to Haben’s fight for access, TEDx has since then improved their policies.

haben-talking-to-obama-ada-25After Haben celebrated #ADA25 at the White House, we chatted about the experience and about her experiences at the intersection of ethnicity and disability, as an Eritrean Ethiopian American. This interview was featured on my new show, Intersections Radio on KBOO. My show features a short version of her interview, you can also listen to the extended version here online!

Air date: 8/7/2015

Broadcast version:

Extended web special:

You can listen to the full broadcast and read the transcript!