Maisie Summers-Newton is educating others on the importance of using the correct terminology and language when it comes to dwarfism.

The 21-year-old swimmer stormed to gold in the women's SB6 100m breaststroke at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games for Team England and has accumulated a trophy cabinet full of accolades during her sporting career.

Speaking on Dwarfism Awareness Day, Summers-Newton opened up about the degrading language she has been subject to as someone with dwarfism and how words can always inflict pain.

"Personally, I just want to be known as Maisie," she said.

"I don't want to be known just because of my height and what I look like compared to everyone else.

"I can't help that I was born this way and I just try to celebrate that fact.

"Some of the language which I do not like being used, is being called a 'midget' or 'tiny'.

"I don't find those words kind and some of them are degrading.

"Also being referred to as characters from TV programmes or films, like Oompa Loompa, which is horrible to be called.

"When you are called that in the street sometimes or when you're out in public with your friends it can be embarassing."

For Summers-Newton it all comes down to treating each other as equals - a simple notion in theory and sadly not yet in reality. 

In light of this, the two-time Paralympic champion has noted her preferred terminology and language when it comes to her height.

"When you do want to refer to me as someone with dwarfism, there are ways to do it," she added.

"You can just say 'someone with dwarfism', or a 'small person' or someone 'shorter than the average height'.

"There's no need to make it degrading or a negative fact.

"At the end of the day, I'm human, I just have short legs and short arms and that was the way I was born."

The Northampton-based athlete is the only person with dwarfism in her family and revealed that she had a very positive experience growing up with her two younger sisters.

But it hasn't always been so welcoming outside the home, with ignorance always finding a way to show itself on the streets or at school.

"I am very lucky that I've had many positive experiences," said Maisie.

"I was brought up in a family where I was treated completely normally. I am the only person in my family with dwarfism and have two younger sisters, so by the time I was three or four they were taller than me.

"I haven't known any different and I'm really fortunate with that.

"Obviously my swimming has been such a positive thing because of my dwarfism, it's why I'm in para sport and I'm so proud that it's the reason I am where I am today.

"But at school when I was younger, you would always get some children who didn't really understand dwarfism which was when I would hear those terms of 'midget'.

"Fortunately I was in a really supportive school and was able to let the teacher know and express my feelings."

One of the best para swimmers of current times and a role model for aspiring athletes everywhere, both with and without dwarfism, Summers-Newton is now calling for a celebration of our differences.

"We're all unique and no one in the world is the same," she added. "If we were then the world would be very boring.

"So we should all celebrate each other's differences and just because we're small doesn't mean that we should be called out on it or treated any differently."