Powerful Women with Disabilities Who Are Cracking the Code
Celebrating International Women's Day among Women with Disabilities
International Women’s Day is a day set aside for 8th March to recognize the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women all over the world. This year, we’d like to recognise the powerful women with disabilities who are leading innovation and technology.
Disabilities are frequently viewed as a barrier to success, but these women have torn down those stereotypes. They use their disabilities to drive innovation and success, allowing them to embrace them. In fields such as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), they are breaking down barriers, changing perceptions, and making a difference.
Haben Girma, the first deafblind Harvard Law School graduate, is an American advocate considered to be one of the most powerful women with disabilities in technology. Haben has dedicated her career to breaking down technological barriers for people with disabilities. In her work, she has made various products and services more accessible to people with disabilities at companies such as Google, LinkedIn, and Airbnb.
Jerusha Mather is a remarkable Sri Lankan-Australian young woman, who has achieved great success despite facing significant challenges due to her disability. Jerusha was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that affects movement and coordination. She is a current neuroscientist, PhD candidate at Victoria University examining non-invasive brain stimulation and strength training and how and if it can improve strength gains and motor function. She is the chosen one for the 2020 L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science (FWIS) Mentoring Program and the STEM Women Gamechanger to pursue her ambitions. She is passionate poet and advocate for an inclusive medical profession.
Liz Persaud is a assistive Tech expert and a leader, who has been a key figure in the field of assistive technology (AT) for many years. She works as the Program and Outreach Manager for Tools for Life at Georgia Tech, in the Assistive Technology Act Program at the Centre for Inclusive Design and Innovation. Liz had opportunities to engage with developers, researchers, engineers, and others who are creating and educating on assistive technology over the last two decades, and she has shared anecdotes on real-life examples that can influence their designs.
Dr. Temple Grandi
Dr. Temple Grandin is a powerful woman with autism who has made profound contributions to the study of animal behaviour in the science community. Dr. Grandin is an animal science lecturer in the department of Colorado State University who has developed humane livestock handling systems that are utilized across the globe.
These strong women with disabilities are constantly pushing the limits of innovation and technology. They are breaking down barriers, transforming preconceptions, and making a difference in their respective fields. They are a source of inspiration for all of us, and we honour them on this International Women’s Day. However, we must acknowledge that women with disabilities continue to face serious obstacles in the workplace. They are more likely than anyone else to have no job, be underemployed, or employed in low-wage roles. They are also targeted for prejudice and have difficulty accessing educational and training opportunities.
Let’s break down those barriers this International Women’s Day to create a more inclusive and accessible world for women with disabilities. Let’s celebrate their achievements and work together to ensure they have the same prospects and access to technology and innovation as everyone else. As a community, we can make the world a more inclusive and accessible one for all women, including those with disabilities.