A 23-year-old lady named Jessika Inaba has become the first-ever black and blind person to become a lawyer in the United Kingdom.
Jessika Inaba, from Camden, North London made history as the first black and blind barrister in Britain. She qualified after she completed a five-year Law degree at the University of London, United Kingdom.
Jessika said she was able to complete her entire course using Braille, a form of written language for blind people, in which characters are represented by patterns of raised dots that are felt with the fingertips along with help from friends and tutors.
She started her accelerated law degree in September 2017 at the University of London before starting a master’s degree two years later alongside a professional training course. Jessika was immediately called to the United Kingdom Bar joining the few blind and black women to qualify as a barrister in the world.
Jessika is completely blind due to an eye condition called Bilateral microphthalmia, where babies are born with smaller-than-usual eyes. She had often thought about giving up because of her condition, but she persevered believing it was possible to achieve her goal.
“I always believed in myself from the start there’s nothing about me which means this isn’t possible,” Jessika said. “I know I can do this job really well, and the more people like me who go through training the easier it will become,” she added.
She mentioned that she faced racist attitudes during the course of her degree when prison officials repeatedly assumed she was a visiting relative rather than a lawyer coming to interview a client.
Jessika stated that the experience was overwhelming for her, saying she still finds it difficult to fully grasp her accomplishment. She added that the journey was tough, and thoughts of quitting frequented her mind, but with the support of her family who encouraged her, she remained determined.
“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,” she said.
However, Jessika said she is happy about her achievement as she hopes it will serve as a motivation to others with similar conditions like hers.
”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,” she said.