Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign

The R-word


Corey Nordyke, Site Designer, Assistant Photographer

Spread the Word to End the Word is a national campaign in the United States encouraging citizens to pledge to stop using the word retard(ed). In 2004 and 2008 responding to the Special Olympics athletes’ call for change, International Board of Directors of the Special Olympics launched the website www.r-word.org to combat the inappropriate use of the R-word.

The R-word is used as a synonym for “dumb” or “stupid” by people without disabilities. It is a degrading synonym. There is no circumstance that needs the use of the word. People think when they use the word around friends it will make them look cool… WRONG! The R-word is slang for the term mental retardation. Doctors, psychologists, and other professionals use mental retardation to describe people with significant intellectual impairment.

The Spread the Word to End the Word campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as an introduction toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all, including mentally handicapped individuals. Make a difference and pledge today to only use respectful, people-first language. Support the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign by pledging today at www.r-word.org/r-word-pledge.aspx.