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Disability Rights--Haben Girma

This is a picture o Haben Girma, the first deaf-blind person to attend Harvard Law School. She is a disability rights lawyer and activist that has worked diligently to make communities more accessible and to create equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Most institutions have excluded millions of people implicitly and explicitly because of lack of accessibility for people with disabilities. People with disabilities make up the largest minority. There are about one billion people with some kind of disability. There are about 446 million with disabling hearing loss and 285 million people with some kind of visual impairment. For persons with disabilities, accessibility means being able to use a product or service as effectively as a person without a disability. To make communities more inclusive, we must first become aware of the issue and dismantle our misconceptions and internal biases. People with disabilities do not need to be “fixed,” our communities need to be. In addition, people’s disabilities do not define them.

Next, we must make the online and offline world as accessible as possible so that everyone can enjoy a product or activity. In the online world, include subtitles on videos and describe pictures. To make your website more accessible follow Offline, convince schools and other public places to build ramps and include Braille next to English writing.

We must break barriers and follow these few steps to enrich our communities. These changes not only improve our community, but they also offer commercial benefits. If products and website are more accessible, businesses will obtain millions of costumers made up of people with disabilities. So, take action now!!! Make your community or business more accessible!!! Also, check out Haben’s book, Haben the Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law!

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