by Haben Girma
Wonderful memoir by a deaf-blind woman chronicling her childhood trips to Ethiopia, where her parents are from, her upbringing in the Oakland, California area, attending college in Oregon, and then law school at Harvard. I have deaf family members, used to be an instructor at the New York School for the Deaf, and am a long-time disability rights advocate, so this one was right up my alley! I loved hearing about when she attended a program for the blind in Louisiana, when she was training her service dog, using a laptop designed for a blind person to communicate, and more. I appreciated her insight on our ablest society and how strides being made with disability accommodations should actually be viewed as innovative tools and technology, and offer everyone alternative solutions and means of doing things, that are often better.
My only disappointment is that the title is misleading. As an attorney and someone that went to law school when the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, I could not wait to hear how she tackled Harvard Law School and broke barriers there. Unfortunately it was a very small portion of the book right at the end and felt rushed. I craved more of that portion of her life, and wanted to hear a lot more about her law practice, and her choice to leave and work more as an advocate and influencer. Perhaps there will be a sequel!