Sinead Burke is an activist, academic and writer who is 105 centimeters tall, or 3'5" – and she recently gave an important TED Talk on an often overlooked subject – the fact that the physical world is often not designed to accommodate people of her height.
In her speech, Burke encourages the audience to change their perspective, as most of them do not live in a world where their basic needs and desires have physical barriers that impede them. Everything from buying clothing and ordering coffee, to going through an airport or using a pubic bathroom, can be difficult for someone of Burke's height. She often has to rely on the kindness of strangers, as well as her own creativity, in order to perform daily tasks – things that people of average height do with little effort. That is not to mention the ways in which she is mistreated personally on a daily basis, with people often directly and indirectly reminding Burke that she is a little person – despite the fact that she often forgets that fact herself.
Sinead Burke's TED Talk encourages viewers to think about how design impacts every individual, and who it can exclude, by the large or small aspects of life that it can make inaccessible.
Designing for Everyone
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The Mendacity of Sounds
Forgoing Fear of Rejection
The UX of Life
Separating Design and Life
Understanding Perceived Threats