One Word to Eliminate from Everyday Speech


Posted by Rachael Tom

I strive to share stories of connection between families and caregivers and also pass along tried and true tips I hear about making home care a better experience. Whether it’s tricks on how to deal with bedwetting (check it out here), or tips on decluttering your house (check that out here), Carina wants to be your go-to source on home care.

I also hope to share stories of people making the world a better place especially if it’s relevant to caregivers, and folks who have home care needs. In that spirit, I want to share some info about the Stand Against the R-Word Campaign. Have you heard of it? I know this topic is near and dear to many of you. 

Stand Against the R-Word campaign was started by a high school student who wanted to get rid of the R-word. Cam wearing a Stand Against the R-Word t-shirt

Pretty simple, right?

I know most of you already know this topic well but allow me to go through the basics real quick.

The R-word refers to the word “retarded.” While mental retardation and the word “retarded” were once clinical terms, they are now considered hurtful, derogatory, and offensive. I must confess that I heard it used just the other day by someone I know. I was a bit surprised, but it was a good reminder that we have a long way to go to rid the world of this hurtful word.

Six Easy Ways You can Stand Against the R-Word

1. Don’t use the term. Even if you’re joking, it’s always hurtful and offensive.

2. Consider intervening if you hear a friend or family member say the word. Education and peer pressure go a long way. You can say, “Please don’t use the R-word. It’s offensive,” or “There’s a global campaign to stop using that word because it’s mean.”

3. Take the pledge to support the elimination of the derogatory use of the R-word from everyday speech by visiting the Stand Against the R-Word campaign here.

4. Find out about how you can support the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities. I found some good resources here.

5. Use people-first language. Here is a quick guide on terms to use and terms to avoid to honor each person’s value, individuality, dignity, and capabilities.

6. Tell your story. Have you or a loved one been impacted by the R-Word? Consider telling your story to help educate others on the impact of this hurtful word.


P.S. This is Cam, my (instagram) friend's son, wearing this shirt to help spread the word. He's how I found out about the campaign. Now it's your turn to spread the word! 🙌

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