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Tilly Griffiths
Tilly Griffiths is a junior from the United Kingdom pursuing a double-major in Political Science and Communication. As a person with disabilities herself and current ASSU Director of Disability Advocacy, she has written extensively for the Daily on issues relating to accessibility and inclusion since her freshman year, and continues to highlight the experiences of the disability community on campus as an opinion columnist.

Opinion | Young and vulnerable in the COVID-19 pandemic

Confirming my worst suspicions, my doctor warned during a routine hospital procedure in early March that, “Tilly, if this virus gets hold of you, it’s going to be very difficult for us to get you out the other side.” This is the reality of being young and vulnerable in the COVID-19 pandemic

Opinion | What’s holding disability advocacy back?

Disability for me has been something concrete that I have learned to navigate, accept and embrace in my daily life. But as time goes on, I am realizing that this narrow understanding of disability, even from me as a person with disabilities, might be the very thing preventing the progress and prosperity of disability advocacy today.

The inaccessible nature of accessibility

If I am ever late to class (which I endeavor at all costs not to be), it is usually a result of one of three potential factors. Maybe I just overslept — it happens to the best of us. Or maybe it’s raining and my journey time has doubled because I wanted to walk in the shelter of the arcades instead of taking my usual diagonal trajectory across Main Quad. But most likely, I am quite simply waiting for the elevator.

I have a disability, but I’m not disabled

As an international student from the United Kingdom, I am no stranger to familiarising myself with the subtleties of language that differentiate my native tongue from that of the United States. In addition to the “chips” or “fries” conundrum and “pavement” versus “sidewalk” debate, I have recently become aware of another linguistic nuance that appears to carry much greater significance: person-first language. A phenomenon that has not yet reached the UK with such widespread impact as it has in the US, person-first language is a type of linguistic prescription linked largely to the disability community which seeks, as far as possible, to place the person before their diagnosis or impairment. For example, in this framework it would be preferable to use “persons with disabilities” over “disabled people”.

On becoming too independent

Maximum independence has always been my goal. Born with a physical disability that leaves me reliant on the physical support of others for almost every aspect of my daily life, I have worked tirelessly from day one to ensure that, within my realm of physical possibility as a full-time electric wheelchair user, I am able…

On dealing with criticism

On the whole, I like to consider myself a largely upbeat person with a mostly sunny outlook. This is by no means to say that I’m confined to viewing life through rose-tinted spectacles but rather to make the point that, when given the choice, I tend to err on the side of positivity. It is…

The ‘W-Word’ and Me

Coming to Stanford, I was struck for the very first time in my life that I now belong to the majority: I move around campus using wheels. Granted, I may have four wheels instead of two, and my powered wheelchair may be a little more hi-tech than the average bike, but for once in my…

Why I’m all for the ‘technological takeover’

Like many young people growing up in the ‘Digital Age,’ I rarely rise from my bed in the morning without a quick scroll through my social media feeds and struggle to stray too far from my mobile phone without feeling as though I’ve descended into a dark and lonely black hole. However, when it comes…

The importance of identity when entering a new chapter

I have always been inclined to view my life in chapters. Some are long, some are short, some are particularly challenging and others utterly thrilling, but what can be guaranteed each and every time is that each chapter will have a beginning, and each chapter will, sooner or later, come to an end. The chapter…

An open letter to my fellow trees

First of all, I want to thank my fellow Trees for making the my first four weeks at Stanford the best of my life. As an international frosh from the United Kingdom, I have encountered so many new and exciting challenges already (a personal and highly clichéd favourite of mine being that of ordering “chips”…
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