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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 26 November 2020

Irish activist Sinéad Burke is winning praise for her TED Talk on being a little person

She tells us what it’s like to navigate a world that’s not designed for someone who is 3’5″ tall.

So, @kemcake and @patrecewilliams are magicians. Almost show-time.

A post shared by Sinéad Burke (@minniemelange) on

SINÉAD BURKE is a tireless advocate for little people in Ireland, showing how ordinary things like public bathrooms can be a minefield if you’re just under 3’5″ tall.

She previously campaigned for an official Irish translation for ‘little person’ – and succeeded in having ‘duine beag’ added to the Irish dictionary.

Millennial pink decor. ✅ Can see my reflection ✅ Can't reach the taps, hand-dryer or door handle ❌

A post shared by Sinéad Burke (@minniemelange) on

Back in March, Sinéad flew to New York to deliver a TED Talk on accessibility and design for little people – and earlier this week, it was finally released online.

In her usual witty style, she describes the difficulties she faces doing things like ordering a coffee in Starbucks:

Queuing, I’m standing by the pastry cabinet, and the barista calls for the next order. “Next please!” they shout. They can’t see me. The person behind me points to my existence, and everyone is embarrassed. I move along to collect my coffee – now think, where do they put it? Up high, and without a lid. Reaching up to collect the coffee that I have paid for is an incredibly dangerous experience.

The rest of the eye-opening talk deals with everything from her struggles finding fashionable clothes to her ability to lick her elbow:

Source: Sinéad Burke/TED

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Design is a way in which we can feel included in the world, but it’s also a way in which we can uphold a person’s dignity and human rights. Design can also inflict vulnerability on a group whose needs aren’t considered… Who are we not designing for? How can we amplify their voices?

Sinéad’s talk has been watched over 279,000 times so far, and earned praise from all comers:

A fantastic achievement. You can hear more from Sinéad by following her on Twitter here.

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Previously: An official Gaeilge translation for ‘little person’ has been added thanks to campaigner Sinéad Burke>

Written by Valerie Loftus and posted on DailyEdge.ie

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