Haben Girma Advocates for Deaf-Blind Patients and Shares Why Many Fear for their Lives

Haben Girma ('13), Disability Rights Advocate, Author and Speaker, was interviewed by The New Yorker. In an article highlighting the impact of coronavirus on the deaf-blind community with respect to tactile communication, care and advocacy, Haben expressed fear that overwhelmed hospitals will not save their lives ("Who Is "Worthy"? Deaf-Blind People Fear That Doctors Won't Save Them from the Coronavirus," Apr. 28). "There is an ableist assumption that causes some people to think it's better to be dead than disabled… If I was suffering from coronavirus I would not have the strength to advocate for myself. The doctor might look at my health record and say my life is not worth saving. So many doctors undervalue our lives."

Haben was also interviewed by Michael Martin on NPR's All Things Considered regarding concerns over access to communications and protecting civil rights during the pandemic ("People With Disabilities Fear Discrimination In Coronavirus Response," May 3). She reminds us, "Everyone has the power and ability to give back to the community. So think about what you can do. And as you're thinking about that, make sure the things you do are accessible."