Jessikah Inaba: The 23-Year-Old who Defiled all Odds to Become UK’s First Blind Barrister

by Duchess Magazine

23-year-old Jessikah Inaba is the first Black and blind barrister in the United Kingdom.

Jessikah was born with an eye defect called bilateral microphthalmia, a disorder that causes infants to have smaller eyes.

She was raised together with her siblings in Lewisham, southeast London by their parents.

Beautiful Jessikah attended local mainstream schools, completing her secondary education in Surrey.

The young barrister received a degree in Law in September 2017. She then proceeded to pursue a master’s degree in 2019 along with a professional development program. She also attended the London School of Law.

She read in Braille from a customized computer screen or specially printed books during her time in law school. Jessikah also acknowledged that one of her two important works took her institution up to seven months to arrange while the other took five months. Additionally, her computer’s Braille screen frequently missed out on large, essential tables or study aid resources with pictures.

In addition to receiving one-on-one instruction at the university, she occasionally turned to crafting her own Braille materials out of lecture notes and enlisting friends to read books to her.

Jessikah reportedly ate at her desk and survived on three hours of sleep per night for two years in her pursuit for achievement, according to a story by Mirror. This act jeopardized her health and she was taken to Lewisham Hospital in 2019 due to her frequent dizziness and anemia diagnosis. “My blood count was really low, and they had to give me an emergency iron infusion,” she said.

Speaking on how disrespecting and rude some days might get because of her disability, she said, “I would arrive to interview a detainee, and I’d always get told it isn’t visiting hours because they assumed I was a relative. I always had to explain that I was a lawyer.”

“My results aren’t a true reflection of my ability. I reckon as a black person; I have to work ten times harder than others just to be accepted by society,” she added.

Jessikah has decided to apply for pupillage, a system that places recently qualified barristers in chambers for the first time, in January.

Currently, she uses a tiny electronic device with a Braille keyboard that has one key for each dot and a tiny screen where the symbols are displayed.

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