Inclusion matters

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02.12.2015 - The estimated 1 billion people living with disabilities face barriers every day, in areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation.

By promoting empowerment, real opportunities for people are created. Empowerment involves investing in people - in jobs, health, nutrition, education, and social protection. When people are empowered they are better prepared to take advantage of opportunities, they become agents of change.

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Haben Girma is one of those agents of change. As the first deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School, she advocates for the civil rights of people with disabilities and is determined to remove access barriers facing people with disabilities around the world.

"Graduating from Harvard Law School says a lot about what can be done when people have the right attitude. We should try to move towards a more inclusive world, so that it’s no longer a big deal for a deafblind person to go to law school”, she says.

She is passionate about designing technology with accessibility in mind and enjoys surfing in her spare time.

Inclusion is a simple, but powerful concept. The right to participate in public life is essential to create stable democracies, active citizenship and reduce inequalities in society. To promote awareness and mobilize support for critical issues people with disabilities face, the UN marks 3 December as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

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UNRICs related links:

·         UN Enable

·         Haben Girma

·         EU Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities

·         European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights


Photo Credits:

·         Cover Photo: Arturo de Albornoz

·         Second Photo: TEDxBaltimore