You’ve probably heard someone say it before, maybe even said it yourself. The R-word. People often use it to call something or someone stupid or silly, not realizing or not noticing how offensive and hurtful the term is to people with intellectual disabilities. But you can take a stand and make a difference today.
March 4 is Spread the Word to End the Word Day. All you have to do is pledge not to use the R-word anymore, and then share your pledge with friends and family on Twitter or other social media. You can even use this text from the R-word Campaign:
I pledge #Respect thru my words & actions. Will you? Pledge now to create communities of inclusion for people with ID http://r-word.org
Or share your own experience about why you stopped using the R-word. I have a cousin with Down syndrome, so I feel quite sensitive about people using the R-word. I stop everyone who uses it. I’m sure people think I’m annoying, but I’d rather be annoying than let people continue to offend those with intellectual disabilities.
If you want to learn more about how the R-word affects people, check out some of the amazing stories at r-word.org, and watch this video of Glee star Lauren Potter describing how hurtful the R-word is. “The R-word is a hateful word. We need to stop, to end the R-word in every place,” Potter says in the video. “I don’t know why people are so mean. All I want from you is to stop saying the R-word.”
And of course you should check out Pip’s amazing story. She is the sweet little girl full of love and laughter who we featured on our August 2014 cover. Pip’s mom, Tara, is a huge supporter of the R-word campaign, and she shared the video posted below to offer encouragement and thanks to the students at a school that took the Spread the Word to End the Word pledge. You definitely won’t want to miss Pip’s impressive acrobatics in this adorable video!
Please take the Spread the Word to End the Word pledge to help eliminate the derogatory use of the R-word.