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Finnish law student and activist beats dual disability

D.N.I.S. News Network 25-year-old Riku Virtanen, who recently visited Delhi on the invitation of National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People, is studying to be a human rights lawyer in a top university in Finland. What distinguishes his feat is the fact that he is deaf-blind.

Virtanen has overcome dual disability of vision and hearing to pursue a cause he is passionate about. I want to highlight the discrimination that exists in all corners of the world, even in the West, against the physically disabled, he says. He is proud of the fact that he is perhaps the first deaf-blind lawyer in the world.

The activist communicates with the help of technology and an interpreter. His assistant, Jenni Kallio types in the questions on a laptop connected to a Braille display board placed before him. After an expensive ear surgery and through hearing aid, he can make out bits of the conversation. Kallio fills in the blanks by indicating the first alphabet of the word, moving her fingers across his palm.