Spread The Word To End The Word Awareness Day is March 2, 2016
If you’re a member of the Easter Seals `Ohana, you know that the R-word hurts. The R-word is exclusive. The R-word is derogatory and offensive. The R-word has no place in our work, our schools, our community, our world.
The “Spread The Word To End The Word” campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people. Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions. What you can do can make a difference.
Lauren Fagnant, special educator at the Kailua Early Intervention program, is spearheading this effort for ESH. She reminds us that Rosa’s Law, signed by President Obama on October 5, 2010 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.”
What can you do to build awareness of this campaign in your programs, with your families, participants, caregivers, stakeholders, and community partners?
#1 Take the pledge yourself. It’s easy. Go to http://www.r-word.org and be a part of the movement.
#2 Share information and encourage others to use respectful, people-first language. And give them the website so they can pledge.
#3 Share your story. Is there someone who inspired you to take the R-word pledge? Was there a moment that showed you how wrong that word is? What makes you feel strongly about changing the way people refer to people with intellectual disabilities? Tell your story.
We are happy to perpetuate this movement through the Easter Seals Hawaii website and social media channels. Please send your stories to Marla Musick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Easter Seals Hawaii joins other community organizations and government agencies that are supporting this campaign including Special Olympics, LDAH, AccessSurf, SPIN, Catholic Charities, Big Brothers Big Sisters, UCP, the ARC Hawaii, HSTA, DOE – Title 1 Program, EFMP.