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Deaf-blind woman rides California waves

Sunday, January 03, 2016 - 01:13

Learning to surf is one of the latest challenges for deaf-blind civil rights attorney, Haben Girma. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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"The ocean is symbolic of all the possibilities out there." Haben Girma is not letting her disability stand in the way of what she wants, and right now, that's standing on a surfboard. She's blind and deaf. And she's riding the waves in Encinitas, California with the help of Maui Surf Academy. (SOUNDBITE) MATT ALLEN, SAYING: "There's nothing I'd rather do than help someone's dream come true." Girma is the first deaf-blind graduate of Harvard Law School and is now a civil rights attorney. (SOUNDBITE) HABEN GIRMA, SAYING: "One of the biggest barriers facing people with disabilities are negative attitudes... People assuming that someone who is blind can't do something... Or assuming someone in a wheelchair can't do something... But anything is possible." Girma is an advocate for people with disabilities - and has been recognized by President Barack Obama as a White House Champion of Change. (SOUNDBITE) HABEN GIRMA, SAYING: "Success comes through failure and I'm not afraid to fall. I'm not afraid to get in the water and try something new. It looks silly for a little bit, but I know in the end I will learn something and develop skills in the process." Riding the waves like many others in California.

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Deaf-blind woman rides California waves

Sunday, January 03, 2016 - 01:13