WHO AM I
Joanne O’ Riordan was born in April 1996 with a rare disability known as Total Amelia. Along with her parents and four other siblings, they all decided that Joanne was not going to be treated differently and was instead a valued member of her family and society.
In 2011, Joanne O’ Riordan became a prominent campaigner for disability rights, when, at the age of 15, she had openly challenged the Irish government on a cut they were going to make in their budget to disability payments. The intended cut was reversed, and Joanne discovered her passion for activism.
Joanne O’ Riordan has since gone on to speak at the Girls in ICT Unit at the United Nations in New York, just days after her 16th birthday, in 2012. Joanne was honoured with a Young Person of the Year Award in 2012 and only over 3 years later, was honoured with a JCI Top Outstanding Young Person of the World Award.
Joanne has spoken in many countries to many companies and prominent figures around the world. Joanne spoke at conferences in South Africa, Japan, Latvia and Russia and as a result has challenged the stigmas surrounding disability.
Her brother’s award-winning documentary was launched in 2014 and is entitled No Limbs No Limits. The documentary has captured audiences around the globe and has been seen by over 15 million people worldwide. It has also received awards throughout the and rave reviews for its honesty, sincerity and sheer uplifting moments.
In Joanne’s (very little!) spare time, she is a recent graduate of Criminology in UCC under a Quercus Active Citizen scholarship and aspires to become a sports journalist, working regularly with The Irish Times and other publications on women in sport; disability and sport; racial issues in sport; and, of course, her beloved FC Barcelona.