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Monday 5th March

The support role of UCC Disability Support Service and living with hearing impairment (BHSC105 , 11:00)

Speakers: Jeanann Doyle and Darrelle Keegan

Jeanann Doyle is severe to-profoundly deaf in both ears from a young age and was recently fitted with a cochlear implant which has been life-changing!

She studied a Bachelors in Nutritional Science at University College of Cork and was previously a Student Ambassador for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students at UCC.Jeanann then moved to London to further her studies where she then proceeded to work in public health as a Senior Health Trainer and Freelance Associate Nutritionist.

In her work at present within the voluntary sector in liaison with local partners, she communicates complex information about dietary matters in an understandable format from the public to the vulnerable (substance use, mental health, disabilities, homeless and learning difficulties).

In her free time, she enjoys yoga, keeping fit and baking (contradictory to her work!). She is passionate about disease prevention, deaf awareness and disability rights and with encouragement from friends and family, recently set up accessible nutrition workshops for deaf communities around London.


Transgender and gender non-conforming youth negotiating personal identities in Cork city: The fight for equality, diversity and inclusion (Creative Zone, 13:00)


Despite the profound legal and social changes over the past two decades with regard to LGBTQI rights in Ireland, ‘transgender people remain among the most vulnerable members of Irish society and experience high levels of stigmatisation and marginalisation’ (GLEN & Dept. of Education and Skills, 2016, p. 17). Young trans, and gender non-conforming people in particular, continuously negotiate the material, cultural and social manifestations of gender binaries in public spaces. When they express their preferred gender(s), trans youth can face resistance from a plethora of social institutions including families, schools, communities, sports and leisure groups (Mayock et al., 2009). Irish-based research by Higgins et al. (2016) shows that nearly half of trans participants feel unsafe or very unsafe expressing their gender identity in public. A further 11.7% report that they would not express their gender identity in public. Trans and gender non-conforming youth have also described ambivalence towards LGBTQI spaces with trans youth reporting significant frustration about the tokenising and sexualising of trans within wider queer life (Dunne & Turraoin, 2015). Based on preliminary findings from qualitative research with a small number of trans and gender non-conforming youth, this paper will critically discuss the experiences of trans and gender non-conforming youth in Cork city. It will explore; (a) how they navigate boundaries between urban spaces, (b) how various public contexts and settings influence the expression of their preferred gender identities and, (c) the complexities they encounter in accessing and utilizing urban spaces. The paper concludes with consideration of ways in which people can become trans allies and spaces can be rendered trans friendly.




Fiachra Ó Súilleabháin (BSocSc MSW DSocSc) is a lecturer in social work in the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork.Fiachra’s research interests are in the area of LGBT+ studies, sexualities and social policy, investigative interviewing skills, sexual abuse and social work responses to allegations of sexual abuse.  His doctoral thesis was entitled ‘Stepping Out: An Examination of Gay Men’s Parenting Experiences of Parenting in Contemporary Ireland’. This was the first piece of academic research carried out in the Republic of Ireland that focused on gay fathers’ experiences. Along with his colleague, Dr Máire Leane, he is currently researching the experiences oftrans* young people in Ireland. In addition to his academic work, Fiachra has over 15 years practice experience. He was the manager of a regional multi-disciplinary child sexual abuse assessment unit within TUSLA Child and Family Agency. His other practice experiences included child protection, fostering and community youth projects. Fiachra serves on the Board of a local gay men’s project in Cork and on a Practice Advisory Board for Historical Abuse Assessments in Cork.


Máire Leane (PhD) holds the role of Dean in the office of the Deputy President and Registrar at UCC.  Máire previously served as Vice- Head (Research) in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Her academic work in the School of Applied Social Studies centres on analyses of how policy and legislation impact on peoples’ lives and she has a particular interest in the spheres of sexuality, feminism, gender and disability. With her colleague Elizabeth Kiely she has co-authoredIrish Women’s Working Lives, 1930-1960: An Oral History Study, Irish Academic Press (2012) and co-edited Sexualities and Irish Society: A Reader, Blackhall/Orpen Press (2014). Her recent work has focused on women’s historical accounts of reproduction and sexuality (Leane, M. (2014) Embodied Sexualities: Exploring Accounts of Irish Women’s Sexual Knowledge and Sexual Experiences 1920-1970” (in Leane, M & Kiely, E. (Eds) 2014). Recent projects on which she was PI include; an Irish Research Council New Foundations award (2015) entitled Enabling Young Adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to deal with Anxiety: a Community Based Participatory Research Project.; and a National Disability Authority (NDA) Research Promotion Scheme (2015) award entitled Building Capacity among Adult Siblings of People with Intellectual Disabilities /Autism.

Making UCC an Age-friendly University (Creative Zone, 17:00)

Speakers: Declan Whelan-Curtin and Dr. Suzanne Timmons

Ireland has an aging population which means the proportion of people 65 years and older is growing rapidly and many people are now living longer and healthier lives. While this is something to be celebrated it also presents challenges and opportunities for society.

For many years UCC has been committed to widening access to education as well as being a University in the community, of the community and for the community. Following the success of fellow institutions such as DCU and Trinity, UCC will now begin the journey of becoming an Age Friendly University and take a leadership role in preparing society for the multi-faceted opportunities and challenges of an ageing demographic.

An Age-Friendly University sets a strategic direction to respond to the challenges and opportunities of ageing through its research agenda, curriculum development, online education, health and wellness activities, infrastructure, and arts and culture programmes. An interdisciplinary working group is being formed to identify contributions UCC can make in addressing the needs of older adults.


Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Unit

Comhionannas, Éagsúlacht agus Ionchuimsitheacht

South Lodge, College Road, University College, Cork, T12 RXA9