I am Sara. I am from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States. I am a daughter, aunt, sister, friend and professional. I suffer from Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a disease of the bones that makes them brittle. My mantra is “Design the life that I love."
As adults, it is our privilege and responsibility to teach our children about the world and the way in which it works. Some lessons seem to come more naturally than others. “Don’t touch the hotplate” and “look before you cross the road” balance readily on the tips of our tongues.
These are exciting times for gymnast, Tiri Hughes. The 19-year-old, who is originally from South Devon, has recently started her first year at Oxford University, studying medicine.
Tiri is an occasional wheelchair user, opting at other times to use a crutch to get her up and about and prevent muscle wastage. She says: “I have H-Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and secondary Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (as well as my visual impairment, which is totally separate). These cause chronic pain, joint instability, weakness, dizziness and fatigue.”
The words we use in everyday conversation have the undeniable ability to either empower or oppress others. If we use positive words to describe people, we can help to foster their sense of pride, identity, and purpose. But, if we use derogatory words, like ableist slurs, we can cause the opposite effect even if we do not mean to.
Naturally, wheelchair users will spend a large proportion of their time in a seated position, unfortunately this can have a negative impact on their health with side effects including pressure ulcers. Standing powerchairs can offer a solution for wheelchair users who are looking to realise the health and lifestyle benefits of a more upright posture, or who want the ability to change position.