No Limbs, No Limits, the film that is to examine the extraordinary life of 16 year old Cork-born Joanne O’Riordan made a significant step towards becoming a reality this week, when the Rehab Group announced it is to provide €25,000 towards the making of the film.
The Rehab Group has pledged the funding along with professional support to filmmaker and Joanne’s older brother, Steven O’Riordan. Joanne is one of only seven people in the world with an extremely rare physical condition called Total Amelia, which means she was born without all four limbs.
Speaking about the decision to support the film, Angela Kerins, Rehab Group CEO said, “Steven and Joanne’s film is a momentous opportunity to share the incredible story of a young determined girl and her family. It is a chance to show people how those with disabilities can and do, overcome challenges, what are at times enormous challenges.
“At Rehab we strongly believe in encouraging people with disabilities to share their stories. It’s a hugely important part of demonstrating how people with disabilities can lead very full lives and also improves wider public understanding of disability. Rehab’s motto is ‘Investing in People, Changing Perspectives’ and we hope that through Rehab’s support Joanne’s story will help to change the perspectives of all those who see the film.”
Welcoming the funding, the film’s director Steven O’Riordan said, “I’m thrilled that the Rehab Group have rowed in to support this film. Joanne’s story is not only interesting one, but it’s also an important one too. Thanks to Rehab’s generous support, this story can now be told.”
The film will focus on Joanne’s life at home, school, work and follow her as she travels to the UN to deliver a landmark address. It will also feature interviews with key members of her family and the experts that have helped her during the 16 years.
The Rehab Group is urging other organisations with available funds to support the project so as to ensure this important story is told. The Rehab Group has a history of encouraging the participation of people with disabilities in the arts, including theatre, the visual arts and film and previously supported the making of Academy Award winning My Left Foot, which told the story of quadriplegic author Christy Brown. The Rehab Group has also provided training enabling people with disabilities to learn the skills they need to develop careers in the dynamic arts and media sector.