UK's first blind black barrister say she smashed glass roof

UK’s first blind black barrister, 23, say she’s ‘smashed through the triple glazed glass roof’ after translating all her textbooks into braille

  •  Jessikah Inaba, 23 says she wasn’t treated differently from her siblings 
  • The lawyer takes a special brail tablet which lets her surf the web to see clients
  • She adapted all her textbooks into braille, and they were so big she moved out  

A woman who wanted to become a lawyer from th age of three has spoken about how she achiaeved her dream of becoming the UK’s first ever blind black barrister, 

Londoner Jessikah Inaba, 23, is now a qualified barrister, after painstakingly translating all of her learning materials into braille. 

Appearing on today’s episode of This Morning, she explained that there are different levels of blindness and that she has ‘no sight at all’. 

She spoke about ‘smashing through the triple glazed glass roof’ as a reference to the glass ceiling often spoken about by women and people of colour when reaching success. 

Jessikah Inaba,23, overcame the odds to smash through the ‘triple glazed glass roof’ in order to become the UK’s first blind and black barrister 

Jessikah’s braille tablet that allows her to surf the web, make and send notes and conduct consultations in prisons

According to Jessikah, she had ambitions to be a lawyer even at the age of three where she announced to her eye specialist ‘I’m going to be a lawyer when I grow up’.

She didn’t remember the encounter but was told to her at a recent meeting with the doctor who recalled: ‘You always wanted to be a lawyer even when you were three years old.’

Phillip and Holly called her an ‘inspiration’ revealing that Jessica’s parents didn’t treat her any different from her three siblings. 

Jessikah said: ‘I wasn’t treated any differently and did the same chores as my siblings, I wasn’t favoured in any way, and I wasn’t disadvantaged – my disability, as society like to call it, didn’t get in the way of doing anything. 

‘It’s certainly worked in my favour now.’  

Her studies proved particularly difficult as she adapted most of her learning materials into braille, even having to leave the family home to accommodate her reading materials. 

She said: ‘there are a lot of blind people in the country, there are people who are registered blind or partially sighted. 

Holly and Phil called Jessikah ‘inspirational’ during her interview and Phil pointed out that only 14 per cent of people on the bar are of colour 

‘I prefer to read things myself using screen processing.’

She said that listening to audio meant the information went ‘in one ear and out the other’. 

‘I found I didn’t retain the information the same,’ she explained. 

‘I spent a lot of time making my books into braille and actually had to move out because braille texts are so big!’ 

Jessikah carries a device called a Braille Sense Polaris MINI with her, a type of braille technology for the blind that allows them to surf the web. 

She said: ‘On here I can send notes, browse the web, for example when I go into prisons and detention centres, usually when you see clients they take a notepad, but because this is a foreign object to most of society, I have to assure them that it isn’t breaking any type of regulations.’

Phil reeled of the statistics within the legal profession stating: ‘£8.8 per cent of the bar are women and 14.7 per cent are of ethnic heritage add in sight impediment to that and there’s just you – what do you want to achieve from this?’

Jessikah spoke about her choice to enter law and her plans for the future, saying: ‘I chose to become a barrister because I’m passionate about helping people and want to help touch people’s lives. 

‘In the future I would love to become a partner in chambers and ultimately to become a judge that would be amazing.’ 

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