Joanne O’Riordan is a criminology student in UCC and is only one of seven people in the world living with a rare physical disability known as Total Amelia. This means she was born without all four limbs and even though there is no medical explanation as to why this happened, Joanne or indeed her family has never allowed it to hold her back.
She has used technology to enhance her abilities in both her education and through the wider social environment. She has conquered enormous challenges at home, in school and around her local community.
Joanne adapted her life in such a way that it has given her both national and international acclaim. Joanne is now an example to all able bodied and disabled bodies to live very happy, independent, fulfilled lives.
Joanne has challenged the most advanced minds in the world to build her a robot that would become her hands and legs. The challenges she faces everyday get bigger and far greater to overcome. Joanne is an inspiration to others.
“I want to live an independent life just like you. I don’t want to live in the shadow of others because I want to make my own journey in life and I know if I’m given that chance I can and will succeed. It would not just help me, but indeed others who are in similar situations. Life is about living and let’s face it Ladies, technology is not just a way of life, it’s a way of living! And just because I have no limbs does not mean I will be limited. And neither should you!” A true inspiration indeed!