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Queen's University hosts Annual Equality and Diversity Lecture

Queen’s recently hosted the University’s Annual Equality and Diversity Lecture entitled 'Tilting the Lens: A New Perspective'.

This year's keynote speaker waSinéad Burke, writer, educator and disability advocate. Through her company, ‘tilting the lens’, Sinéad works towards accelerating systemic change within the domains of education and design, by focusing on accessibility as a vehicle for creativity, innovation and social justice.  

Sinéad is responsible for the introduction of the term for little person, ‘duine beag’, into the Irish Language and recently released her first book, ‘Break the Mould’ to encourage children to acknowledge difference and to design a world that is accessible and equitable for all. 

Sinéad is also a TED speaker, her talk, 'Why Design Should Include Everyone’ has amassed one million views. She has addressed the World Economic Forum at Davos and is a member of WEF’s Future Cities Council. Sinéad is the first little person to feature on the cover of Vogue and to attend the Met Gala, but her interest and work is utilising her experience of being the first, as a case study to make these practices the rule. 

The Queen's University Equality and Diversity Lecture was established in 2018, with Conor McGinn MP giving the inaugural lecture. 

The Equality and Diversity lecture series is part of Queen’s mission to promote greater equality and diversity in the workplace, particularly with regards to ensuring equality of opportunity and respect for diversity across the University and the wider community. 

Speaking about the lecture, Professor Karen McCloskey, Director of the Queen’s Gender Initiative and host for the event, said: “Sinéad shared from her personal experience the importance of inclusivity and highlighted some of the perceptions and barriers that currently exclude people from so many aspects of daily life. This inspirational lecture challenges everyone to play their part in making our world accessible, welcoming and genuinely inclusive”. 

You can watch the lecture here.