Joanne O’Riordan wins the Outstanding Young Person award

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Joanne is one of seven people in the world living with a rare medical disability known as Total Amelia Cork disability activist Joanne O’Riordan has won the Junior Chamber International Outstanding Young Person of the World Award for 2015. Ms O’Riordan was shortlisted for the award by public vote, receiving almost half of the 26,000 online votes for the award which honours individuals under the age of 40 who have contributed greatly to local and global communities. She was selected as the winner by a panel of judges for her contribution to children, world peace and human rights. The UCC student is one of seven people in the world living with a rare medical disability known as Total Amelia, meaning born without limbs. In 2011 Ms O’Riordan attracted a lot of media attention when she challenged the Government on cuts to disability allowance. Since then she addressed the UN at the International Telecommunication Union’s conference ‘Girls in Technology’ in New York in 2012. Her story formed the subject of a 2014 documentary ‘No Limbs No Limits’. She will travel to Kanazawa, Japan for the 2015 JCI World Congress in November. Commenting on her win, Ms O’Riordan said she was “blown away”, adding “to say I’m over the moon would be an understatement.” “For me this award is about highlighting the ability of every citizen irrespective of their disability. I want people to realise that people with disabilities can contribute to a wider society in a more positive and helpful way” she said.