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.