The use of people first language, and how we speak to and about each other, is important. Today, March 7, is Spread the Word to End the Word Day. If you have not yet taken the campaign's pledge, please visit www.r-word.org to learn more.

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. That R-word is something hurtful and painful - "retard" or "retarded." 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.

Change the conversation and help eliminate the demeaning use of the R-word from today's popular youth vernacular and replace it with "respect." Whether intentional or not, the word conjures up a painful stereotype of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It hurts. Even if you don't mean it that way.You can help create a more accepting world for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and all those people that may appear different, but have unique gifts and talents to share with the world. Take the pledge today at www.r-word.org.
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