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Posted by on Mar 13, 2011 in Current Info | 0 comments

An end to the “R” word

An end to the “R” word


Local group tries to put an end to the “R” word

Updated: Thursday, 03 Mar 2011, 6:25 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 03 Mar 2011, 5:50 PM EST

  • Jaclyn Bevis

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – A local group joins a national campaign to get rid of the “R” word.

A pledge to avoid a word and a chance to show respect.

The Disability Awareness Work Group joins the national effort to end the “R” word.

“The R word for people who don’t know is retarded. And that doesn’t always suite the disabled. It’s an intellectual problem that a lot of people have,” said Marlene Lu of the Disability Awareness Work Group.

So the group is joining forces with the Special Olympics and the Best Buddies organizations to replace the word.

“So the ‘R’ word they want to get rid of is retarded, and they put in an ‘R’ word that is respect,” Lu said.

The group wants people to not only stop using the word when talking about people with disabilities, but they want everyone remove it from their everyday vocabulary.

“A lot of people don’t know, and maybe you’re joking around saying retarded. That’s hurtful, whether you mean it intentionally or not,” she said.

“You might be referring to something else saying that’s stupid or that’s dumb, but you say that word in stead,” added Joe Slaby, another group member in DAWGs.

Slaby lives with a disability, but he understands how the word can be a trending topic.

“I used it when I was younger. But over the years, I’ve become sympathetic to that. If you think something is stupid, say it’s stupid. Don’t use that word,” he explained.

He hopes this is just the first step of many that people will take.

“The next step is accepting individuals not knowing exactly what they go through, but understanding that those differences aren’t something to degrade by using that word,” he said.

Joe and his peers look to keep getting signatures.

Each one symbolizes more than just a name, but one more person committed to respect.

The group says instead of using the “R” word, “intellectual” or “cognitive” disabilities is accepted.

To find out more or to make the pledge yourself, go to the Spread the Word to End the R Word website.

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