A lawyer in the United Kingdom has created history by becoming Britain’s first black female blind barrister. 23-year-old Jessikah Inaba qualified last week after studying for five years at the University of Law in London. As per The Times UK, she completed her entire course using Braille, and credits her friends and tutors for helping to fill in the gaps.
Speaking to the outlet, Ms Inaba said, “I know I can do this job well, and the more people like me who go through training the easier it will become. I know I’m giving hope to others in similar situations.”
“There’s a triple-glazed glass ceiling. I’m not the most common gender or colour, and I have a disability, but by pushing through I’m easing the burden on the next person like me,” she added.
Further, the 23-year-old revealed that she was the first black and blind student at the University of Law in central London. She said that it took seven months for the university to obtain one of her two key study texts so she could read on her computer, and five months for the other.
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Ms Inaba said that she made her own Braille materials from lecture notes, or from friends who read books to her. “I was spending more time preparing my own learning materials than I was studying,” she told the outlet.
Further, as per Wales Online, Ms Inaba said that in court she uses a tiny electronic machine with a Braille keyboard which has one key for each dot and a small screen where symbols pop up. This means that she can keep her ears free to listen and can read and edit easily just by using her hands.
Justice McGowan, treasurer of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, said, “Being called to the Bar is a remarkable achievement. Being called to the Bar as a blind person is truly remarkable. The commitment and tenacity she has shown demonstrate that she will be a great success.”
According to Wales Online, Jessikah Inaba is blind because of an eye condition called Bilateral microphthalmia, where babies are born with smaller than usual eyes. She went to local mainstream schools and secondary schools in Surrey.
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She said that she now wears her gown and wig with pride – having worked so hard for them. Ms Inaba is now planning to apply for pupillage – where newly qualified barristers get their first placement in chambers – when applications open in January next year.