Sinéad Burke's TED Talk was included in Junior Cert English Paper One

Irish writer and activist Sinéad Burke was included in this year's state exams, the Dublin-native has revealed. Tens of thousands of Junior Cert English students were asked to read her speech on inclusivity before answering three very important questions

Sinéad Burke is one of Ireland's most powerful advocates when it comes to equality and inclusivity. Her TED Talk Why Design Should Include Everyone is quickly approaching 1.5 million views, with its message reaching far more than that.

Over the past two years, Sinéad has travelled the world to meet influential people in design; spreading her important message that all people should have their needs met; whether it's an accessible lock on a public bathroom door, or clothes designed to fit people of all shapes and sizes.

Related: Seven ways the National Gallery
welcomes people with special needs


Sinéad has met with leaders of the fashion and political worlds, as well as classrooms of pupils, to highlight the need for an accessible world for all. Now, her TED Talk has reached a new platform; namely the Junior Certificate English Paper One.

'I had no idea'

Taking to Instagram, Sinéad Burke said the inclusion of her speech in this year's exam paper came as a surprise.

"My TED talk has brought an incredible number of opportunities but discovering today that Why Design Should Include Everyone was transcribed and question one on the Ordinary Level English Junior Certificate paper is not something I could have ever imagined," her post read.

"I had no idea it was happening and very grateful to the students and teachers who sent me DMs and emails to let me know," Sinéad said, adding, "Thank you, of course, to the State Examinations Committee for including me."


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'Give a reason'

The Dublin-native went on to describe the questions on the exam paper. "Students were asked to read the speech and answer the following questions," she said.

1. From your reading of this passage, what do you think is the greatest day-to-day challenge faced by Sinéad Burke? Give a reason for your answer.

2. Which one of these words best describes how you feel when you read this speech? Hope or angry? Give a reason for your answer.

3. Based on your reading of the last paragraph of this speech, what do you think is Sinéad Burke’s message to people who design things? Did you enjoy this speech? Give two reasons to explain why.

Sinéad concluded, "I would *love* to read their answers."

So would we.

Watch Sinéad Burke's TED Talk in full below:


Photo: Sinéad Burke via

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