Thursday, June 10, 2010

If I Could

I would personally invite every person on this planet to stop using the "R" word as a punch-line. Next time it's about to escape your lips, use your own name---that's what it feels like to be berated for just being you. There are plenty of other words; get a thesaurus. ARGggggggg.

Here's what the National Down Syndrome Society says:
Use of the "R" Word
NDSS uses and encourages the use of person first language (i.e. 'a child with Down syndrome'). NDSS exclusively uses and encourages the use of the socially acceptable term "intellectual disability."
NDSS strongly condemns the use of the word "retarded" in any derogatory or inappropriate context. People with disabilities, like all people, deserve to be treated as valued citizens and not referred to in a hurtful manner for any purpose. Using the 'R word' is hurtful and suggests that people with disabilities are not competent. Negative and inaccurate public perceptions are the greatest barriers the National Down Syndrome Society faces in achieving acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and other cognitive disabilities.


  1. I am so with you on this. I am on a personal crusade among my 'friends' to end it's use as well. Facebook is flooded with it and it drives me up the wall.

    You know what bugs me most? My friends think its ok to use this word now... and I wonder why? Is it because my daughter is dead? I don't think for a second they'd use that language standing next to our daughters and that really hurts. To them its okay to say because she is not here, but I still am and I matter right?

    I don't see these people anymore.

  2. Thank you for continuing to promote the end of use of the R word.

  3. Well said. I will extend the invitation to others, as well.

  4. Yes, I completely agree with you.


  5. As someone who works in this field, this is such a challenge - not NOT using the "R" word, but the words "mental retardation." Because when it comes to laws, regulations and policies and the people that make them, these are the words used there. Those are the words that are tied to funding, to rules, to everything. So I find myself using intellectual disability interchangeably with MR, so legislators eyes don't cross when they don't understand what I'm talking about. But then I still get looks of anger from parents when I let the latter slip in a meeting they are at. And I'm like, dudes, I am not the enemy.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that in addition to ditching the "R" word, to make things fully transformative, we need to wipe the books clean of "mental retardation" too, or else there will always be this confusion. There's a piece of legislation called "Rosa's Law" that will do that. Let's hope it passes soon.