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.
I try to live my life to the fullest the best I can. I try to have a positive outlook on life and surround myself with positive people. Of course, there are many challenges I face as a wheelchair user, but I believe the first hurdle you must get over is the in the mind. Once you have conquered that, then you can deal with other challenges you may face.
I have been modelling for the past year and a half, after I was spotted in Canary Wharf by two model scouts from Zebedee Management and the next day I was signed to the agency.
Representation matters and it is great seeing disability in film. From biopics to animation, disabilities are there on the silver screen. Here is a pick of five disability positive films you might not have considered.
Kirk Williams is an adventure photographer. Being a C6-7 quadriplegic, with paralysis from the chest down, he has refused to let his disability define him. He tried out a number of wheelchair adaptive sports and found wheelchair rugby was the most impactful for him.