Spread the Word to End the Word
Every year, Best Buddies and Special Olympics at UCLA team up to spread awareness about the use of the r-word.
Spread the Word is a campaign geared towards promoting inclusion for people of disabilities in schools, the workplace, and communities worldwide. At its conception, Spread the Word to End the Word sought to end the use of the R-word to encourage acceptance and inclusion of the IDD community.
Many people do not know the effects of the R-word, “retard(ed),” and continue to use it in a derogatory way. The word was initially introduced as medical terminology, used in diagnoses for many disabilities. The term came to be used as an insult, and as a result, has led to marginalization and discrimination of the IDD community.
Today, in colloquial speech, many people throw this word around as a synonym for stupid or slow, without acknowledging its history of hurt and prejudice.