When Joanne refers to technology as the limb she never had, she is saying that she uses technology to perform routine everyday tasks. Joanne was born with Total Amelia, which means that she has no limbs. Obviously this genetic defect is very debilitating and impacts negatively on her ability to perform even the most ordinary of tasks. Technology has allowed Joanne to surmount this difficulty, performing tasks that are normally performed by limbs, making technology an essential component to life.
What does Joanne O Riordan mean when she asks the delegates to ‘think outside the box’?
O Riordan is encouraging the delegates to be creative and innovative, to come up with new solutions to the difficulties that impact negatively on people’s lives. O Riordan encourages them to be original and not to approach a problem with the same negative mind set as most do. O Riordan believes all things are possible but we need to be able to adapt, devise, evolve and invent. She learned to write by being innovative and thinking outside the box by using her shoulder and chin as she had no limbs. She feels that being innovative and creative is imperative for technological progress.
In seeking to be independent, what are the greatest obstacles faced by Joanne?
I think the constant prejudice that Joanne faces is a huge obstacle to her. She talks about ‘the barriers’ and how she has surprised doctors, strangers, friends and even her family by overcoming these barriers. She firmly believes in her mantra ‘no limbs no limits’. She is fiercely determined despite the fact that so many people doubt her capabilities. Secondly I feel that O Riordan’s strong desire to be independent and not to be over reliant on her family might become an issue for her as she might end up feeling frustrated when she does need them.
In the final paragraph, what challenge does Joanne set the delegates at the Girls in Technology conference?
O Riordan challenges the girls by asking them to help people like her whose quality of life is curtailed by disability. She wants them to be empathetic enough to facilitate her independence and the independence of others affected by disability by developing innovative life-changing technologies. She feels that these girls have the power and capacity to facilitate her independence and that she herself in turn will have the power and capacity to participate and contribute to life and succeed.
Joanne O Riordan’s talk has been described as ‘inspiring’. Did you find it inspiring?
Yes I found this talk inspiring because O Riordan makes adroit use of elements of descriptive, emotive and persuasive writing styles. She describes how she was born with no limbs and engages the reader emotionally with her positive mantra ‘no limbs no limits’. Her tone is upbeat throughout the extract. She describes in detail her proactive approach ‘I’ve struggled and overcome barriers’. She strikes me as a very modest and grateful person. She has great self-belief and determination: ‘I know I can overcome these challenges’. She is a positive role model for all age groups in my opinion.
Evaluate Joanne O Riordan’s talk using the prompts below:
O Riordan’s content is very descriptive and emotive. She employs a descriptive writing style in order to make the reader cognisant of how Total Amelia impacts on her life. Her use of the first person narrative technique allows the reader to empathise with her. Her story is inspirational in terms of the she has struggled to overcome all of the obstacles that she has encountered but this speech also sets out to motivate a group of girls at the Girls in Technology conference so that they might develop innovative and creative technologies to assist her and people like her.
Speaker’s connection with her audience
O Riordan makes adroit use of the first person narrative technique in order to give the reader an insight into this debilitating defect. She addresses her audience ‘Think of ways and means that you can make technology more accessible’. She engages her audience by her use of the imperative verb ‘think’- she encourages them to ‘Think outside the box’. Even though this is a rare defect, she describes her situation in easy accessible language, thereby making it easier for her to connect with her audience. Her speech is engaging and inclusive and really motivates the audience to contribute positively to society.
The persuasive power of her words
I think this piece is very persuasive. She connects with the audience by saying ‘I want to live an independent life like you’. Here she is trying to connect with her audience ‘like you’, emphasising that she is a person like them and not just a disabled person. Her use of alliteration in her mantra ‘no limbs no limits’ is catchy and is encapsulates the theme of the whole speech. She describes how all of her young life, she has had to encounter obstacles but that she has ‘struggled to overcome barriers’. She refused to accept the limitations placed on her by her condition and that encourages her audience and readers alike to do likewise because everyone encounters obstacles and challenges in life.
Identify an issue about what you feel strongly where technology could be used to campaign for change:
An issue that I feel strongly about is cyberbullying. I feel that social media like Facebook and Twitter could be used to gather support to lobby the government to introduce laws that would criminalise cyberbullying. Facebook and Twitter could also be used to raise awareness about cyberbullying and how it impacts negatively on a person’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. Videos could be posted on these sites to highlight the dangers of cyberbullying. A discussion forum could be used to get people talking about the issue and consequently raising the profile of this issue in the public arena.
Prepare a talk for an audience of fellow students in which you explain why you feel strongly about this issue and the changes you would like to see.
[Think DAFOREST technique
Use of triads/Rule of three]
Cyberbullying is cruel. A startling 63% of students have been affected by cyberbullying in US schools and this problem is becoming more and more prevalent in Irish schools. My name is Maisie Jones and I’ve been asked by the principal to discuss the issue of cyberbullying. This is an issue close to my heart as I have witness first-hand the devastation caused by this form of bullying. I want to invite you to get involve in lobbying the Irish government to bring in legislation that will criminalise cyberbullying.
It may come as a surprise to you but a study carried out by the Growing Up in Ireland research body found that an overwhelming 77% of those accused of cyberbullying described their behaviour as ‘just messing’. This, however comes as no surprise to me as very often this kind of bullying is not taken seriously. It is imperative that we don’t put up with this, don’t you think?
Do you think it is fair that cruel and hurtful things are said about people and published online for all the world to see? Cyberbullying can make the victim very isolated, self-conscious and vulnerable. This should not be acceptable. It is incumbent on us to be more proactive and try to change society’s attitudes in relation to this issue. I implore you to sign my petition and help us with our lobbying campaign to bring about real change. I want to see legislation in place that will criminalise cyberbullying. It is imperative that we protect the psychological and emotional wellbeing of everyone and not tolerate such nonsense.