Day 3 - Sinéad Burke

sinead burke.webp

The third day of our #12FeministsofChristmas coincides with the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It is fitting then that we feature one of Ireland’s most prominent disability activists, Sinead Burke.

Sinéad is possibly most well-known for her contributions to fashion, design and literature. Without a doubt she has positively influenced the upper echelons of the fashion industry internationally. She advocates for design of clothing and spaces which is more inclusive of disabled people. Speaking to the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway in June 2020, Sinéad recalled questioning the acceptance that mannequins for her clothes would not be available for an exhibition on diversity in fashion.  Sinéad rectified this gap in display tools by having a cast of her body made. This is now available for use by cultural organisations internationally. By questioning what was accepted by organisers of cultural events, Sinéad has expanded the potential for disabled people to be included and represented in these events.

Sinéad is also a strong advocate for education. Her current Phd research focusing on the inclusion of the voice of the child in human rights education will no doubt be influential in future teaching approaches. 

Like all of our #12FeministsofChristmas, Sinéad’s accomplishments to the area of equality far exceeds what we have included in this series. We are looking forward to learning more from her work in the future. If you are struggling with ideas for a stocking filler for the children in your life, Sinéad's book , 'Break the Mould: How to take your place in the world', has won the An Post Irish Books Award for older children. 

Sources:

Break the Mould – Sinéad Burke, illustrated by Natalie Byrne (Hachette Children’s Books – Imprint: Wren & Rook)

Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway, Webinar "Disability and Access to Culture, Recreation, Leisure and Sport", Tuesday 23rd June, available via https://www.nuigalway.ie/centre-disability-law-policy/news/centre-for-disability-law-and-policy-cdlp-webinar-disability-and-access-to-culture-recreation-leisure-and-sport.html

Sinéad Burke's website:  https://www.sinead-burke.com/

Image above from Instyle, https://www.instyle.com/celebrity/sinead-burke-shoes