The 'R'-Word

We all know of the connotations of  "F" word and there are many races locally who would feel "ahow" using the "N" word. However, how many of us still use the "R" word loosely  not being aware of the negativity behind it? 

The R-word is the word 'retard(ed)'. 

The Special Olympics is using Wednesday March 2, 2016 to build awareness for society to stop and think about its’ use of the R-word. The “R-Word Campaign”  is entitled “Spread the Word to End the Word”™. The use of the R-word, “retard” or “retarded,” is hurtful and painful and whether intended or not, is a form of bullying. Most people don’t think of this word as hate speech, but that’s exactly what it feels like to millions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and friends. The R-word is considered to just as cruel and offensive as any other slur. We can all do our part by visiting to pledge our support today.

 Eliminating the use of the word is a step toward respect. 

  • Did you know the pejorative and ever increasing use of the R-word in today’s society further perpetuates the stigma and negative stereotypes that face people with intellectual disabilities? ?
  • Up to three percent of the world’s population has intellectual disabilities - that’s almost 200 million people around the world. It’s one of the largest disability populations in the world, perhaps you know someone?
  • Special Olympics’ Multi-National Public Opinion Study of Attitudes toward People with Intellectual Disabilities, conducted by Gallup, reveals that throughout the world, over 60 percent of people still believe that people with intellectual disabilities should be segregated in schools and in the workplace. A massive attitude change is needed to attack and reverse the stigma that is destructive to the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and a barrier to growth.

The R-Word Campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people. Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions. The pledge is to help change the conversation and help eliminate the demeaning use of the R-word from today’s popular youth vernacular and replace it with “respect.” Help in creating a more accepting world for people with intellectual disabilities and all those people that may appear different, but have unique gifts and talents to share with the world. 

Why Pledge: The R-word hurts because it is exclusive. It's offensive. It's derogatory.

Recommended pledge: “I pledge #Respect thru my words & actions. Will you?

Pledge now at and let’s all change the game for people with intellectual disabilities.

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