Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The R-Word

How "retardation" went from a clinical description to a word of derision

When they were originally introduced, the terms “mental retardation” or “mentally retarded” were medical terms with a specifically clinical connotation; however, the pejorative forms, “retard” and “retarded” have been used widely in today’s society to degrade and insult people with intellectual disabilities. Additionally, when “retard” and “retarded” are used as synonyms for “dumb” or “stupid” by people without disabilities, it only reinforces painful stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities being less valued members of humanity. (source)
Today, on behalf of Leanne and Josie, we ask that you remove the R-Word from your vocabulary.  Can you help us spread the word to end the word?
CLICK HERE for advice on how you can react when you hear someone use the R-word in order to help us eliminate this offensive language from every day speech.  Do it for Leanne.  Do it for Josie.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there girls, first of all i love your blog, all of you are amazing!!!♥
    My name is Natalia i live in Buenos Aires im 30 and i'm one of those people who has never had any contact with someone who has down syndrome.
    But I rememeber that when i was like 11yo the "r" word was very common to hurt someone.
    I had a teacher back then that the first time she catch a school partner using that word, she sat us all in the class room and explained to us that she had a brother with DS and that that word was aweful and that should be out of our vocabulary.
    She made a huge impact on us, i have never heard that word again in that classroom and i have never ever used it.

    Elizabeth your blog and the way that you explain and share everything has had a similar impact on me. I was one of those people who felt sorry for the mother who had a kid with DS. Now i see things in a different way and I cant thank you enough for this lesson.
    Hugs and best of wishes