Stop the R-Word! Wednesday, March 07, 2012 By Sean Brier
Most people don't think when it comes to using the R-word. It just happens. But before you call someone a "retard", take a moment to realize who you're actually hurting. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “614,000 children ages 3 to 21 have some level of intellectual disability and need special education in school”. Every time the R-word is used, it has a negative effect on these kids. It’s hurtful to them and it dehumanizes their lives. In 2010, President Obama signed “Rosa’s Law” which made federal statutes replace the words “mental retardation” with the reference of “individuals with intellectual disabilities”. In July of 2011, Missouri signed into law to support the change. There are only seven states that have yet to make the switch to stop the use of the r-word in legislation. Visit www.r-word.org/contact-your-local-government.aspx for more information about the laws that have been passed so far. Many people in the United States support getting rid of the r-word. 251,838 people have already signed the online pledge to stop using the r-word. Not only does getting rid of the word from our vocabulary make us better people, but it also shows a better understanding and appreciation to individuals who have trouble comprehending as well as others due to their disabilities. Remember, March 7, 2012 is the annual day of awareness to show how much the r-word hurts certain people. Make sure to Spread the Word to End the Word this week by signing the pledge at www.r-word.org and to help put a stop to the r-word once and for all.