R Word : Spread the Word to End the Word

March 4th marks this campaign’s Annual Day of Awareness. The Annual Day of Awareness has taken place the first Wednesday of March every year since inception. If you have not yet pledged, please take a moment to become one of hundreds of thousands to say NO to the derogatory use of the word retarded and its variations. http://www.r-word.org/r-word-pledge.aspx

Did you know? On April 5, 2010 President Obama signed a bill into a federal law which removed the phrases “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” from all federal health, education and labor policy, replacing them with the people-first language of “individual with an intellectual disability” and “intellectual disability.” Rosa’s Law is inspired by one family’s campaign to remove the derogatory labels from Maryland state law. A cornerstone of the testimony for change brought before legislators came from the 11-year-old sibling of Rosa, who has Down Syndrome. Siblings can be champions of the cause by presenting our experiences to others. This is at the heart of the R-Word campaign. Though at times people use these words with ill intent, other times people are simply not aware of the hurt and disrespect the “R-words” can bring. Ignorance is a large part of the problem. As siblings, we have the opportunity to share and influence. It can be difficult to confront people when they use these words–they could be your boss, your co-worker, a friend or even an extended family member.

Share the R-Word campaign and enlighten.


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