Groundbreaking Achievement: 23-year-old Jessikah Inaba Becomes First Black and Blind Individual to Qualify as Barrister
In an extraordinary feat of determination and resilience, Jessikah Inaba, a 23-year-old law graduate from Camden, North London, has become the first black and blind person to qualify as a barrister. Last week, she successfully completed her five-year course at the University of Law in London, overcoming significant challenges along the way.
Jessikah, affectionately known as Jess, relied on Braille to navigate her entire academic journey, crediting her friends and tutors for their unwavering support in helping her overcome obstacles. Reflecting on her achievement, she humbly admitted, “It’s been crazy – I still can’t really believe I’ve done it. One day I’ll wake up and realize how amazing this is.”
Throughout her studies, Jess encountered numerous difficulties, but her supportive family provided her with the courage and strength to persevere. She never doubted her capabilities, firmly believing that her blindness should not limit her potential. “I always believed in myself from the start – there’s nothing about me which means this isn’t possible,” she affirmed.
Her journey was not without challenges. As a blind student, Jessikah relied on Braille as her primary mode of learning. However, obtaining the necessary study materials in Braille proved to be a time-consuming process. It took seven months for her university to procure one of her two essential study texts, and five months for the other. Additionally, the presence of pictures and tables in the books meant that her Braille screen often missed significant portions of the material.
Undeterred, Jess devised innovative strategies to overcome these obstacles. She diligently transcribed her lecture notes into Braille, creating her own study materials. Moreover, she enlisted the help of her friends, who graciously read to her, filling in the gaps left by inaccessible texts. Jessikah’s unwavering determination and resourcefulness propelled her forward, ensuring her success in completing her degree.
Now joining the Bar, Jessikah Inaba’s achievement is a remarkable milestone in the legal profession. Breaking barriers as a black, blind woman, she not only opens doors for herself but also inspires others facing similar challenges. “It’s a really good feeling. I know I’m giving hope to others in similar situations to mine,” she expressed passionately. “There’s a triple glazed glass ceiling. I’m not the most common gender or color, and I have a disability, but by pushing through, I’m easing the burden on the next person like me.”
Jess’s groundbreaking accomplishment serves as a powerful reminder that with determination, support, and the belief in one’s abilities, seemingly insurmountable barriers can be overcome. As she embarks on her career as a barrister, she is determined to excel and pave the way for more diverse individuals to enter the legal profession. She emphasized, “I know I can do this job really well, and the more people like me who go through training, the easier it will become.”
Jessikah Inaba’s extraordinary journey and historic achievement remind us of the indomitable spirit of human potential. Her story resonates far beyond the legal realm, inspiring individuals worldwide to pursue their dreams despite the obstacles they may face.