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The Big R-Word

By Becky Benishek | Posted on 04.05.2012 | 0 comments
The Big R-Word
Whenever magazine editor and mom blogger Ellen Seidman hears the word “retarded,” she worries that her nine-year-old son, Max, who has cerebral palsy, will never be respected or viewed as an equal.

Why? Because according to the Special Olympics, words such as “retard” and “retarded” are demeaning, derogatory, and offensive—even if used as a joke.

“[It] spreads the idea that people who are cognitively impaired are either stupid or losers,” Seidman says.

Ellen is not alone. The Special Olympics is championing an online campaign called Spread the Word to End the Word, which urges people to pledge to stop using the words “retard” and “retarded,” and to instead use the term “intellectual disability.” So far, over 280,000 people have signed the online pledge.

Watch the short video Ellen created to explain what the word “retard” means to her, and learn more about the Special Olympics campaign here.
Also, check out the end-the-word campaign for Hamilton, NJ district schools championed by 17-year-old students Alexa “Lexy” Akin and Brooke Bowers. 
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