Education and Outreach Manager, Sinead Mackle, Takes Up UK Wide Post
Sinead Mackle, Education and Outreach Manager at world renowned astronomical research centre, Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, is set to take up the voluntary post of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Officer with the UK and ROI based Council of the British Association of Planetaria (BAP).
In the role, which will be held for at least two years, Sinead will function as an impartial point of contact on the Council to address concerns or queries regarding matters of equity, diversity, or inclusion. She will also address any grievances relating to the International Planetarium Society Code of Conduct.
Sinead will also work with the Council to select future conference venues and facilitate the participation of all attendees. Finally, she will work with the Council or its members to enable full participation in online events.
The British Association of Planetaria is a group of planetarium professionals and individuals devoted to astronomy and science education. It communes each year at an annual conference to discuss the latest developments in the field, to share knowledge and ideas for best practice and to hold its Annual General Meeting.
Sinead says, “I am honoured to join the Council of the British Association of Planetaria as an EDI Officer. Here at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, we are passionate about ensuring that our facilities are as accessible as possible. During lockdown, I encouraged my team to take lessons in British Sign Language, Irish Sign Language and I have gained level 2 Makaton to help support and welcome all our visitors exploring the Planetarium.
“We have translated our “CapCom Go” dome show into Irish and Ulster Scots
and have provided an interpretation in British Sign Language and Irish Sign Language. Further to this, our exhibition area has been specially designed for accessibility, with its use of subtitling, braille and tactile exhibits.
“During lockdown, we installed a sensory room and also a ‘Changing Places’, which are toilet facilities that accommodate visitors who need specialist equipment such as a hoist and changing bench. Visitor feedback on the accessibility of our premises remains incredibly important to us.”
The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Officer is nominated, seconded, and voted for at The British Association of Planetaria’s Annual General Meeting.
Steve Gray, President of the British Association of Planetaria adds, “We are delighted to welcome Sinead on board as our new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer.
“Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is committed to accessibility and so, Sinead is the perfect fit for this role, in which we hope that she will celebrate, support, and benefit from the talents of all of our members, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual identity, or disability.”
To find out more about Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, visit: https://www.armagh.space