Graduate students in the Speech-Language Pathology program at Southern Miss recently took part in Special Olympics’ annual “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign by participating in a pledge drive.
“This 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,” said graduate student Victoria Miller.
According to r-word.org, the campaign is meant to engage schools, organizations and communities to pledge to use respectful and inclusive language and refrain from use of the “r” word.
“It amazes me that the awareness is not as much as it could be…so we wanted to spread awareness of the “r” word and get other people to know what it means,” said Miller. “I hope to hear the word less around the campus.”
Rosa’s Law removed the term mental retardation and replaced it with intellectual disability in federal health, education and labor policy. Special Olympics and Best Buddies have updated their terminology to people-first language that promotes inclusiveness and acceptance of those with intellectual disabilities.
For more information or to make a pledge, visit www.r-word.org.