Lillian Byrne, IT Carlow
Lillian Byrne is the 2022 International Women’s Day ambassador for IT Carlow. “This is an honour” Lillian says, “March 8th is the anniversary of my doctoral viva. In essence, the project that I have undertaken in IT Carlow has been my biographical narrative of breaking bias by bringing visibility to of disability to the Institute in a physical and conceptual way by highlighting language, perceptions, and structures which ensconce bias”.
In 2020 the Higher Education Authority recorded a total of 245,000 learners registered with Irish higher education providers. According to the National Disability Authority guestimate, 1000 of these learners had a disability; approximately .4% representation. “Meanwhile the representation of educators with disabilities remains somewhat black-boxed. From experience, all my educators were able-bodied. So, being a woman born with upper left limb dysmelia, being an educator breaks the bias of who becomes an educator. I purposefully use my professional and personal knowledge to proactively break bias in everyday interactions and those which are embedded in structural elements of higher education so those who potentially could be excluded due to their diversity or diversities can succeed and be seen. If you see it, you can be it!”