Sinead Burke, disability rights activist and teacher

Sinead Burke, disability rights activist and teacher

By BBC Radio 4

Sinead Burke is a disability rights activist and teacher. She has combined her love of education and style to campaign for more representation of diversity in the fashion industry.

Born in Dublin, Sinead has achondroplasia – a genetic condition which causes restricted growth – and is 3’ 5” tall. She refers to herself as a “little person” and knew she wanted to be a teacher after her first day at school. She has used the classroom environment to discuss openly with her pupils the issues surrounding disability. She believes openness and kindness are the ways forward to develop understanding and respect.

As a child she collected the September issues of Vogue and later on started writing a blog in which she held the fashion industry to account about diversity and representation. She continues to work towards greater inclusivity in fashion and her mission is to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to realise the industry is open to them whether as editors, designers or models. Last year she was selected as one of 15 trailblazing women to appear on the cover of the September issue of British Vogue.

In 2018 Sinead spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos – the only Irish female delegate. She has taken her message to the White House at the invitation of the Obamas and was appointed to Ireland’s Council of State to advise the president about disability rights.

DISC ONE: Like A Girl by Lizzo DISC TWO: Awoo by Sofi Tukker, feat. Betta Lemme DISC THREE: Small Town Boy by Bronski Beat DISC FOUR: You Should See Me in a Crown by Billie Eilish DISC FIVE: I Put a Spell on You by Nina Simone DISC SIX: The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel DISC SEVEN: Vogue by Madonna DISC EIGHT: Samhradh Samhradh by The Gloaming

BOOK CHOICE: Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde LUXURY ITEM: A necklace CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Like A Girl by Lizzo

Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

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