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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”.

Holidays around the world

Holiday season is in full swing; we’re wrapping up Thanksgiving and moving into Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the New Year and more. Growing up Catholic means that I’ve been on the Christmas bandwagon for as long as I can remember. Back home, we show our holiday spirit by displaying colorful Christmas trees and lights, singing Spanish-influenced…

In conversation: International and domestic students

Stanford campus is rarely more conspicuously international than it is during Thanksgiving break. While many American students spend quality time with their families and their full stomachs, international students more rarely go home. And so last weekend, after semi-successfully attempting an apple pie, I invited whatever friends were still on campus to my nearly deserted…