Portglenone man Conór O’Kane has been announced as the Northern Ireland Champion for AccessAble, an online resource which provides detailed access guides to sites around the UK.
Conór (31), a student at Northern Regional College in Ballymena, is already a bit of a legend in his home town, but has become even more well-known in recent months since starting a weekly blog to highlight the issues facing people with disabilities.
Although he only started his blog towards the end of last year, he already has over one thousand followers.
The weekly blog posts, which incorporate his #7smiles or seven things that made him smile during the week, are humorous, humbling and inspirational, making the reader realise just how much they take for granted.
Conór, who has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), has a proven track record as a campaigner to raise both disability awareness and accessibility.
As a teenager, he was among a group of young activists with disabilities who went undercover to investigate the state of public transport throughout the UK. Their findings were published in the ‘End of the Line’ report.
He hopes his new role as Northern Ireland Champion for AccessAble (formerly DisabledGo) will help him reach a wider audience and make more people aware of the challenges facing people with disabilities and the need to improve accessibility.
Conór said: “Most people find it easy to get around and be independent but when you have a disability, even simple tasks like using public transport can be a challenge and take a lot more planning.”