Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spread the Word to End the Word


Today is "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign. The goal is to "make people stop and think about their hurtful and disparaging use of the word 'retard.'" Check out the Special Olympics site for ideas on "How to Take Action." Or, go here to "pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities."

In her blog post today, Terri Mauro said, "In the spirit of ending the "R Word" in all its forms, I'm going to be spending some time today removing "mental retardation" from my materials for parents, replacing it with "intellectual disabilities." The term has become too tainted by the slang slurs derived from it that I'm not comfortable using it, and since the Arc and Special Olympics seem to have adopted "intellectual disabilities" to describe the diagnosis, I'll follow their lead."

In Barriers, Bridges and Books, the author eloquently describes "the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign (as)a vision of respect and they are using the tools of education, media, and more to respond every time and cut away what does not belong in that vision."

Tomorrow, The Spread the Word to End the Word campaign will be over. But that doesn't mean we can't brainstorm together and come up with our own how-to-take-action ideas. What can each of us do to spread the word?



simona said...

the only persons who use the 'R' word these days are those who are not bright enough to know they are advertising their own ignorance.

Jackie Lee said...

GREAT campaign. I definitely think the only people who are still using this 'R' word are those who are not educated enough on the topic. Great awareness campaign, since I still hear this word thrown around today.

Maureen Lee said...

Thank you, Simona and Jackie, for your comments. You're right: the key to 'changing the conversation' is educating mainstream society - to create, together, a "world where persons with intellectual disability are valued, included, and appreciated for whom they are."

Terri said...

It is time for this change.

(And thank you for the link!)

Maureen Lee said...

I agree, Terri, it is time for this change. You're welcome re the link: Your blog post was an eloquent appeal to "finally stand up and say "STOP IT!".

Stephanie said...

How hurtful. I can't tell you how much the "R" word upsets me. And I agree with Jackie when she says that those who use it are not educated. Unfortunately, far too many people use this word loosely. Imagine what it is like for parents of special needs children like myself to hear this word being thrown around like that. I guess that is why Ideal Way is needed and is here. More needs to be done to stop this.

Related Posts with Thumbnails