This Wednesday, March 6, 2013, marks the annual day of recognition for the Spread The Word To End The Word campaign. I have already blogged about how much I despise “the R word”. https://aprojectforkindness.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/te-r-word/
Spread the Word to End the Word is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics, Best Buddies International, and other supporters, that sets out to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed).” In 2004, Special Olympics athletes called for change, the Special Olympics International Board of Directors adopted a resolution to update the movement’s terminology from “mental retardation” to “intellectual disabilities.”
Many people believe that using the word “retard(ed)” in everyday speech is hurtful to individuals with intellectual disabilities. This annual day shows support against the use of language that is disrespectful to the self-esteem of people with mental disabilities. Many advocates believe that people with cognitive disabilities and other developmental disabilities are capable of enjoying everyday life and that causal references to the words retard or retarded are demeaning. It is essential for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities that we are respectful of ALL people. However, much of society does not recognize the hurtful and derogatory effects of the word “retard(ed).” They use it in daily conversations, not realizing the hurt, disrespect and ignorance they are showing when they use it.
It is time to address the word “retard” and raise the consciousness of society to its hurtful effects. Visit www.r-word.org for more information. Spreading the word should not be limited to one day. Spread the word EVERYDAY.
We should try to make the new “R Word” be RESPECT.