evening gowns

Amplifying.
“Its not the disability that is the barrier, it’s the environment that is the barrier”.
Inclusivity!!

-4:52 More Settings Click for more We Rise by PopSugar 175,466 Views Show more reactions It looks like you may be having problems playing this video. If so, please try restarting your browser.Close Meet the Deaf-Blind Lawyer Fighting For People With Disabilities Posted by We Rise by PopSugar 175,466 Views Ad starting soonVideo will continue after ad 175,466 Views We Rise by PopSugar 20 hrs ·

It's easy to forget how inaccessible our world is to anyone with limited vision or hearing. Even something as simple as watching a Facebook video is a challenge due to access barriers. Haben Girma is fighting to change that.

Below is a transcript of Haben's interview so that it's accessible to everyone.

Video: Haben sits on a couch
Haben: Deaf-blindness is a rare disability, so most of the time I'm the first person in a certain situation. So I'm used to being a pioneer.
Video: The first shot is Haben typing on a keyboard, and the second shot is Haben speaking at an event
Title reads: Meet the Deaf-Blind Lawyer Fighting For People With Disabilities
Video: Haben sits on a couch
Haben: A lot of my friends know better than to tell me that I can't do something because that's actually encouragement to try to find a solution
Video: In the first shot, Haben communicates via sign language with a student. In the next four shots, she surfs, dances, skis, and scales a building.
Graphic: Haben Girma was born deaf-blind, meaning she has limited hearing and vision
But that hasn't stopped her from surfing, dancing, skiing, and even scaling a building
Video: Haben smiles
Graphic: Growing up, Haben attended mainstream public schools and quickly learned to adapt
Video: Haben sits on a couch, talking
Haben: When I was in school, I had a teacher who trained me how to travel as a blind person
Video: A bus drives down the street
Haben: I remember one of the lessons, she intentionally had me miss my stop so that I could learn how to problem-solve when things go wrong
Video: Haben works with a young student
Graphic: But not all students are so lucky
Video: Haben sits on a couch, talking
Haben: Many students with disabilities don't have access to information when they're in school
Video: Close-up of a hand reading Braille on a keyboard
Haben: We need to make sure the schools have access to accessible technology, have access to qualified teachers who can provide training
Video: In the first shot, Haben uses her Braille keyboard. In the second shot, a hearing aid is placed in a woman’s ear.
Graphic: Thanks to assistive technology, deaf-blind individuals have various ways to communicate
Video: Haben sits on a couch, talking. We see sporadic shots of her using her Braille keyboard.
Haben: Deaf-blindness is a spectrum. There are people with limited vision and limited hearing, and we use a variety of different communication styles: sign language, print on palm. What I use primarily is a keyboard and digital Braille display — so people will type on a wireless keyboard, and I'll read in digital Braille. evening gowns
Video: President Barack Obama communicates with Haben via keyboard, and they shake hands
Obama: Hi, Haben!
Haben: Hello. It’s good to meet you!
Video: Maxine, a German Shepherd, stands with Haben
Graphic: Haben also has her trusty guide dog, Maxine, by her side
Video: Haben stands outside in front of a leafy wall, talking
Haben: Her job is to navigate around obstacles
Video: Maxine guides Haben around a trailer hitch and then walks with her down a street
Haben: I make the decisions, and she follows me
Video: Image of Haben in a graduation gown speaking at a university, followed by an image of Haben paddleboarding across a body of water
Graphic: Early on, Haben quickly learned to be her own biggest advocate
Video: Haben sitting on a couch, talking
Haben: When I was young, I had to teach people what I need, and that process helped me build up self-advocacy skills
Video: People gather food at a cafeteria
Haben: There was one incident when I was in college. The college cafeteria would provide menus only in print, and blind students couldn't access the menu.
Video: Haben speaks at a TED Talk event
Graphic: Haben asked the cafeteria manager to provide an accessible menu, but her request was brushed off
Video: Haben sits on a couch, talking, followed by a shot of Haben on a laptop in the park, researching
Haben: Later, I did research. I learned that I have a right to information, and I returned to the cafeteria manager and explained, "I'm actually not asking for favors. I'm asking you to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act."
Video: Time-lapse shots of people walking through a crowded street, a busy city intersection, and traffic on the freeway
Graphic: The Americans With Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, prohibits discrimination based on disability in all areas of public life
Source: ADA.gov
Video: Haben sits on a couch, talking
Haben: It changed the whole culture in the cafeteria. They started providing menus in accessible formats. And that taught me that if I advocate for myself, I change the community.
Video: Haben, in a graduation gown, poses with her diploma at her graduation from Harvard Law School
Graphic: That self-advocacy led her to become the first deaf-blind graduate of Harvard Law School
Video: Haben sitting on the couch, talking
Haben: Harvard told me, "We've never had a deaf-blind student before." And I told Harvard, "I've never been to Harvard Law School before." We didn't have all the answers, but we pioneered our way using assistive technology and high expectations.
Video: Images of Haben meeting Bill Clinton and Barack Obama
As a disability rights lawyer, Haben is devoted to breaking down societal barriers to people with all forms of disabilities
Video: Haben sits on a couch, talking
Haben: Disability is never the barrier. It's the environment that's the barrier. A lot of barriers right now are digital.
Video: A woman types on a computer
Haben: The vast majority of websites have access barriers
Video: Haben sits on a couch, talking
Haben: Sometimes I'm shopping online and the technology I use, a screen reader, can't figure out what's on the screen. That's a barrier.
Video: Haben speaks at a conference, instructing the audience
Haben: So what I do is provide training to teach organizations that if they make their technology accessible, they could reach more people, including people with disabilities. There are 57 million Americans with disabilities, and around the world there are 1.3 billion people with disabilities.
Video: Haben and Maxine cross the street
Haben: So let's focus on changing society and removing the barriers, rather than putting pressure on people with disabilities to change how they are
Video: Images of Haben greeting people and shaking their hands
Graphic: So what can nondisabled people do to encourage equal access?
Video: Haben sits on a couch, talking
Haben: Everybody plays a role in making our community more inclusive. Look around you.
Video: A man in a wheelchair wheels himself down the street
Haben: Are there barriers for wheelchair users?
Video: 2 deaf women communicate via sign language
Haben: Are there communication barriers for individuals who are deaf?
Video: A woman reads Braille
Haben: Are there print barriers for individuals who are blind?
Video: Haben sits on a couch, talking
Haben: Once you identify those barriers, look for ways to make them more inclusive
Video: Haben greets 2 people with a smile
Haben: We all have challenges in different forms, and it's beautiful to find solutions and make it through these challenges