Spread the Word to End the R-word
How "retardation" Went from a Clinical Description to a Word of Dehumanization
When originally introduced, the terms “mental retardation” or “mentally retarded” were medical terms with a specifically clinical connection; however, the demeaning forms, “retard” and “retarded” have been used widely in today’s society to degrade and insult people with intellectual disabilities. Additionally, when “retard” and “retarded” are used as synonyms for “dumb” or “stupid” by people without disabilities, it only reinforces the painful stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities being LESS valued members of humanity.
“EVERYONE has a gift and the world would be better off if we recognized it.” –
Timothy Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics
Spread the Word to End the Word was founded by college students Soeren Palumbo and Tim Shriver in the year of
On October 5, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama officially signed bill S. 2781 into Federal Law. It is called Rosa’s Law, which took its name and inspiration from 9-year-old Rosa Marcellino. This law removes the terms “mental retardation” and "mentally retarded" from Federal Health, Education, and Labor Policy and replaces them with people first language “Individual with an Intellectual Disability” and “Intellectual Disability.” The signing of Rosa’s Law is a significant milestone in establishing dignity, inclusion and respect for all people with intellectual disabilities
What is Spread the Word?
Spread the Word to End the Word is an on-going effort to raise awareness to our society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word "retard(ed)", and encourage people to now pledge to stop using the R-word. The campaign is intended to get schools, communities and organizations to rally and pledge their support.
To Pledge and learn more log on to- www.r-word.org
It all began in the early 1960s, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver saw unfairly people with intellectual disabilities were treated. She also saw that many children with special needs did not even have a place to go out and play at. This is when Eunice decided it was time to take some action and make a difference. "With a plan in mind, her vision began to take shape, she held
a summer day camp for young people with intellectual disabilities in her own backyard!" The goal was to learn what these children could do in sports and other activities – and not dwell on what they could not do. This vision eventually grew into the global Special Olympics.
To Make Special Olympics possible there are many people that are involved-
The athletes: They are the key, these people show that even if you have an intellectual disability you have the "ability" to do what you set your heart, soul, and mind on.
The Coaches and Volunteers: These people make it happen, they are the "behind the scenes" kind of people. They take out their time of day to help the athletes reach their full potential, and also help in what ever needs to be done.
The Family's: The family's are a big part in Special Olympics, they are the supporters, motivators, and the cheer leaders!
Get involved or find out if your company can donate log on to- www.specialolympicsminnesota.org
Or to go International log on to