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Keynote Speaker: Haben Girma

taught by: Haben Girma


Disability rights attorney and advocate Haben Girma will be the keynote speaker for AccessU 2019, the premier digital accessibility training conference held annually in Austin, Texas. Girma is the first deaf-blind graduate of Harvard Law School. In 2016 she was named one of Forbes’s “30 Under 30” and in 2013 was named a White House Champion of Change.

“I’m excited to speak at this year’s AccessU,” Girma said.

From 2013 to 2016, Girma worked for Disability Rights Advocates in Berkeley, Calif. There, she helped represent the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in its lawsuit against Scribd, a provider of e-books and other digital content. In 2015, Scribd settled with the NFB, agreeing to make nearly all of its 40 million titles accessible by the end of 2017.

“Sometimes education and training will be enough to get a company to invest in accessibility,” Girma told Knowbility in 2018. “Legal action is an option for dealing with those stubborn institutions that refuse to become accessible.”

Since 2016, Girma has been working as an independent lawyer, author, and speaker. She has given talks on the power of public interest law, the importance of digital accessibility for people with disabilities, and related topics to organizations including Apple, Google, and TEDx.

AccessU Keynote Events on Wednesday, May 15, 2019

  • 12:00 PM: Lunch Keynote Address
  • 5:00 PM: Meet-and-Greet Reception (open to the public)