Blogger Cecilia McGowan

#PLA 2020 Wrap-up 1: Haben Girma

Gosh, so much for ‘live’ blogging!  So many great programs and so little time to write about them.  The conference ended a few hours ago and I want to share some notes I took while I’m still flying high with happiness and inspiration.  This is the first of several posts.

I’ll add to Abby Johnson’s great post about Haben Girma: Steer Around the Sharks.  Before Ms. Girma was born, her mother traveled from Eritrea to Sudan, where she spent 10 months before arriving in the US.  She thought the US would offer the justice she was looking for, but she realized that geography doesn’t create justice, people create justice.

Ms. Girma says that we need more stories about people living and succeeding with disabilities.  Children with disabilities need to see them themselves in books and to showcase that we are all interdependent.  None of us are truly independent.  A few of Ms. Girma’s requests about online digital accessibility:

  • When posting images, always include the photo description
  • Always include close captioning

Be an innovator, but in doing so don’t make assumptions about what your patrons need: ask them!

What a powerful, engaging, funny, and powerful young woman. I have so much more hope in our country knowing she is working so diligently on the behalf of all of us.

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