WHAT IS THE R-Word CAMPAIGN?
It is time we Spread the Word to End the Word ™ and build awareness for society to stop and think about its’ use of the R--word. Use of that 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 just as cruel and offensive as any other slur. Eliminating the use of this word is a step toward respect.
WHAT CAN I DO?
We ask that you help us change the conversation and help eliminate the demeaning use of the R-word from today’s popular youth vernacular and replace it with “respect.” We are asking for your 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 IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Respectful and inclusive language is essential to the movement for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities. However, much of society does not recognize the hurtful, dehumanizing and exclusive effects of the R-Word.
LANGUAGE affects ATTITUDES. ATTITUDES impact ACTIONS.
ONE STEP FURTHER.... PROJECT UNIFY
This year we are taking it one step further and working on all students being UNIFIED! Special Olympics Project UNIFY® is an education and sports based strategy powered by an engaged youth community that increases athletic and leadership opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities, while creating communities of acceptance for all. Inclusive sports provide youth with and without intellectual disabilities the opportunity to train and play together as teammates. Students develop exceptional athletic skills while forming friendships, fostering respect for each other, and becoming leaders on and off the court.