Why it’s past time to stop using the R-word

“Spread the word to end the word” is a movement to end use of the R-word in society, and March 5th is the annual awareness day. According to the Spread the word to end the word website, the campaign “asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point towards creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people…[Because] language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions.” Despite the medical origin of the R-word, it is now thought of as a negative way to refer to people with intellectual disabilities, or it is sometimes used as a put-down slur as a synonym for “stupid”. In either sense, use of the R-word serves to separate and to lessen the value of people with disabilities, and it is time to eliminate it from our vocabulary.

In this video, Eleanor Bailey, an advocate and speaker who works with the Northwest Down Syndrome Association speaks out regarding the need to end the use of the R-word.

This video may begin with a commercial which was not chosen by or for the benefit of DisAbility Rights Galaxy.

Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.