Woman smashes ‘triple-glazed glass ceiling’ by becoming the UK's first blind, Black, female barrister
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A woman is celebrating an important moment in history after becoming the first blind, Black, female barrister in the UK.
Jessikah Inaba studied for five years in London to get where she is today and she couldn't be prouder of her achievements.
The 23-year-old did her entire course by reading Braille and had help from friends and tutors when she needed a bit more information on some topics.
She said: "It's been crazy - I still can't really believe I've done it. One day I'll wake up and realise how amazing this is.
"It was hard and I often thought of giving up, but my supportive family gave me courage and strength.
"I always believed in myself from the start - there's nothing about me which means this isn't possible.
"I know I can do this job really well, and the more people like me who go through training the easier it will become.
"It's a really good feeling, I know I'm giving hope to others in similar situations to mine. 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."
The four Inns of Court, the Bar Council and the Bar Standards Board all couldn't find an example where a blind, Black, woman had made it as far as Jess.
She studied at the University of Law - London Bloomsbury and admits that it wasn't easy getting all the materials she needed for her course.
It took seven months for her university to get one of her two key study texts so she could read on her computer.
It was another five months for the other textbook.
Then it was a struggle to have the pictures and tables converted from the original texts into Braille so she could understand.
Jess said she ended up doing a lot of it herself once she worked out the best method.
"I was spending more time preparing my own learning materials than I was studying," she said.
"I was hospitalised because I kept fainting in October 2019 because I'd been functioning on about three hours sleep a night for two years.
"I would sometimes get 45 minutes a day to eat, but often I ate while at my computer.
"The university had other visually impaired people who used text to speech, but I just can't work like that.
"I need to read it physically for myself or I can't remember it. Everyone is different and has a different work around for various situations.
"A lot of people registered blind have some vision, so they can sometimes use large print, or some blind people manage well just by listening to text.
"Braille is expensive to produce because you need a lot of special software and equipment."
Jess says she now wears her gown and wig with pride after working so hard to earn them.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS