Picture: Alan Rowlette Photography
In her own words
Not everyday you come across somebody who is an international and national keynote Speaker, Double PhD doctorate let alone a double Guinness World Record holder.
Add to this being a Freelance Researcher, a Visually Impaired Athlete and Qualified Lawyer and you obtain a little miracle called Sinead Kane
As a Certified Mediator, she does not let her disability of only having 5% vision hold her back whether in her academic career or in her adventure/ultra-running achievements. She would prove to anybody how those who persist in spite of a disability can develop determination, motivation, and creativity.
TCM: What has been your hardest challenge to date?
SK: Living with my disability, there is no finish line to my disability whereas with races there is a finish line. Also continuously having to stand up for yourself and fighting for rights can be exhausting.
TCM: If I say Advocacy what do you say?
SK: For me it’s about giving people a voice whether it be an individual or a group, in order to promote and achieve positive change. I think of social justice issues and influencing public policy. I think of values of justice, equality, inclusion and participation. I think self-advocacy is a great skill to have in one’s life.
TCM: I know that you are now recognized in the street, how do you deal with ”celebrity” 🙂 ?
SK: Yes people recognise me, especially right after I came back from doing the World Marathon Challenge where I did 7 marathons on 7 continents within 7 days. No matter if I have a long day and cold and tired if someone wants to talk to me and if they are courteous and nice then I try to be the same. I think everybody should try and be kind, caring, attentive, and courteous. I think it’s important to listen to others and always remember that we can all learn every day from others – the life lesson of lifelong learning.
TCM: While you have been invited to speak at numerous companies events, how do you think companies in general fare on disability employment?
SK: I think companies are still very fearful about hiring people with disabilities. I think some companies underestimate the ability of people with disabilities. I think the responsibility and solution does not just lie with companies but all relevant stakeholders – such as the Irish Government.
In July 2018 three Oireachtas Committees found in a report that Ireland must remove barriers to employment for people with disabilities.
TCM: What is the question you would have liked me to ask you and why?
SK: Name one of your favourite songs? Everybody experiences music in a different way and so I think you can learn about a person through the music they like.
One of my favourite songs is “(Something Inside) So Strong” by Labi Siffre. When I listen to this song I realise I have strength within to keep standing up for myself. I try to spread this message of adversity and resilience through my international speaking.
Interview & Editing by Pascal Derrien on behalf of Talent Cloud Media
You can find more about Sinead’s work on her website www.sineadkane.ie ; don’t forget to follow her on her social media channels: Linkedin, Twitter @KaneSinead and @blindrunner777, Facebook, and Instagram.