Spread the Word to End the Word has become Spread the Word >> Inclusion!
Spread the Word to End the Word began in 2009 as a student-created campaign dedicated to ending the R-word (‘retard/ed’). While “mental retardation” was originally introduced as a medical term in 1961 for people with intellectual disabilities, the R-word has become a dehumanizing slur used all too commonly in everyday language. Those who use the R-word often do so with little regard for the pain it causes people with intellectual disabilities – and the exclusion it perpetuates in our society. Together with Special Olympics and Best Buddies, millions of people have signed digital and physical pledges as personal commitments to end the R-word and educate others on its hurtful impacts.
U.S. federal law officially changed the terminology in 2010 to “intellectual disability,” which is the preferred term used by Special Olympics; and we always use person-first language (‘person with an intellectual disability’ vs. ‘intellectually-disabled person’).
Take the Pledge
Today, Spread the Word >> Inclusion raises the bar to eliminate the R-word and build upon the campaign’s success to create a new reality of inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.