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A 25-year-old woman becomes the first blind and deaf person to graduate from a US university, igniting interest around the world.

Haben Girma, 25, has become the first blind and deaf person to graduate from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Haben Girma, who is now a global icon for achieving her extraordinary feat, graduated from Harvard Law School in 2013 with a Juris Doctor degree (J.D) despite being both blind and deaf.

Girma lost her vision and hearing as a result of an unknown progressive condition that began in early childhood, with only 1% of her vision remaining. She benefited from civil rights laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act during her early years in the United States.

She also had accessible technology to help her read, such as a digital Braille device. At the age of 17, she graduated from Skyline High School in the United States.

According to Habren’s autobiography, in which she describes how she had to learn how to navigate in a world designed for people who can see and hear, she defines disability as a chance for innovation.

She described how she learned non-visual techniques for everything from salsa dancing to operating an electric saw. Arianne, her hearing translator, types what people say and do into a special computer that wirelessly feeds the information to Girma’s Braille computer.

She reads by running her fingers over the dots and responding verbally.

“My parents came to the United States seeking opportunities, and they found it’s not geography that creates freedom; it’s people and communities that create freedom,” Girma said.

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