#1e82a0#500000#e67323#8ca532
Spread The WordHelp us raise awareness about the hurtfulness of the R-word by pledging and sharing your stories year round.Pledge Now  
Tweet Your PledgeHere's your tweet-ready text:
I pledge #Respect thru my words & actions. Will you? Pledge now to create communities of inclusion for people with ID http://r-word.org  Here's how  
Movement ChampionsJohn "Frank" Stephens became a national phenomenon by showing us all how to create a more accepting society.
Read Frank's Story
Six Years of ProgressIn the years since the R-word campaign started, real change has taken place. Read more

Your Stories

February 25, 2015 | North America: Pennsylvania

Proud aunt of 2 nieces with designer genes!!!

By Maggie Shearn

Retarded, retard, a word that just simply rolls out of our mouths. Yes, I am guilty of using this word until God blessed our family with Katie who is 6, and Madeline who is 3. Both sisters, both having Down syndrome.View Story ▼Retarded, retard, a word that just simply rolls out of our mouths. Yes, I am guilty of using this word until God blessed our family with Katie who is 6, and Madeline who is 3. Both sisters, both having Down syndrome. The ignorance of people who look at these children while we are in public is unbelievable. Some just stare, some just walk past you fast as to say, "I don't want to catch what they have!" It breaks my heart knowing the repercussions of their disability will always be the public's use of the "R" word. A word they have no idea what it means right now, but their two older siblings do. Unfortunately, they have to hear this word in school, on the bus, and in public places. Yet, they hold their heads high, and protect their sisters. As their aunt, I am so proud of these 4 children, and that is why I'm telling my story to help spread the word to end the use of the "R" word. Please join me and help educate people that words do hurt, especially the use of the "R" word! Thank You

About Maggie Shearn:Proud aunt of two nieces with designer genes!
Share
View less ▲
February 25, 2015 | North America: Wisconsin

VARC, Inc. Partners with local Schools to Promote "Spread the Word" Campaign

By Liz Filter, Director of Rehabilitation

On February 24, 2015, VARC, Inc., located in Wisconsin, invited area school districts to discuss living a message of respect toward people of all ability levels.View Story ▼On February 24, 2015, VARC, Inc., located in Wisconsin, invited area school districts to discuss living a message of respect toward people of all ability levels. The students and faculty got a chance to tour VARC and were presented with "Spread the Word" posters by two of VARC's client counsel members. VARC provides services toward people with varying abilities throughout the Wisconsin and have committed to "spread the word" about valuing and respecting the contributions that all individuals make toward their communities.

About Liz Filter, Director of Rehabilitation:VARC provides services toward people with varying abilities in WI, and has committed to "spread the word" about valuing and respecting the contributions that all individuals make in their communities.
Share
View less ▲
February 24, 2015 | SOI General: Headquarters

Easy Organization Tracking on Spread the Word Day March 4

By Will Schermerhorn

Putting "MyOrganization" into the pledge form URL using this format, "?org=MyOrganization" will fill in the Organization input field and also a hidden field.

On Spread the Word to End the Word Day, schools and other organizations often rally lots of people to pledge to stop using the R-word. A new feature on the R-word.org site is the ability to ensure an organization's efforts are tracked.View Story ▼On Spread the Word to End the Word Day, schools and other organizations often rally lots of people to pledge to stop using the R-word. A new feature on the R-word.org site is the ability to ensure an organization's efforts are tracked. Any organization can use a URL in this style: http://www.r-word.org/r-word-pledge.aspx?org=MyOrganization. Any words put in place of "MyOrganization" will automatically fill in on the pledge form. (Try it! Put different words in the URL yourself to see how it works.) It also fills in a hidden input field that pledge takers cannot change. You can share this information with local schools and organizations. After Spread The Word Day is done, we can get reports on the number of pledges that can be attributed to different organizations.

About Will Schermerhorn:I am the director of web products for Special Olympics.
Share
View less ▲
February 23, 2015 | North America: Pennsylvania

Our Four Beautiful, Brave Children

By Kathleen Zajicek

Our younger kids are not aware enough yet to understand, but they will someday, and it breaks my heart to think they may be called this someday and be hurt, and it hurts me so much that my older children have now heard this word for the first time this year on their school bus and came home so upset and not knowing what to do or say to protect their little sisters.View Story ▼We have four children, a 10-year-old daughter, a 9-year-old son , a 6-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old daughter. Our two youngest happen to have Down syndrome. Although faced with many challenges, we are a normal family who loves each other, sticks up for each other and have a lot of fun and laughter together! It is hurtful to me, my husband and our two older children to hear the R word. Our younger kids are not aware enough yet to understand, but they will someday, and it breaks my heart to think they may be called this someday and be hurt, and it hurts me so much that my older children have now heard this word for the first time this year on their school bus and came home so upset and not knowing what to do or say to protect their little sisters. So this is why this is so importan , it can affect so many people, and shouldn't have to. So we need to get the word out there and educate people on this and that is not ok to use the R word. I don't believe everyone who uses it realizes how hurtful it is.

About Kathleen Zajicek:I am a nurse, a wife, and a mother of 4 beautiful children, 10yo, 9yo, 6yo, and 3yo, of which my youngest have Down syndrome.
Share
View less ▲
February 23, 2015 | North America: Pennsylvania

Stay strong

By Riley zajicek

I pledged to not say the R-word because I won't let a silly word bring down my little sisters. So I want to share my story with you. Both of my little sisters have Down syndrome.View Story ▼I pledged to not say the R-word because I won't let a silly word bring down my little sisters. So I want to share my story with you. Both of my little sisters have Down syndrome; they are the cutest people I ever saw they are sweet & too young to realize what will have to be done in the future. My one little sister Madeline also has cancer at age 3. During chemo therapy she began losing hair I remember there was always this little piece of hair that would not fall out. While she was in the middle of her therapy she was always happy. But you could tell when she wasn't feeling good. Now she is done and at home in remission her hair is growing back and she is crazy. My other little sister Katie watches my brother Joey play hockey outside & she says she wants to play someday. Katie is so innocent she has a bad back were trying to fix it but it's not that easy. At age 6 she's still in a stroller and some day she's going to have to get a wheelchair. When she was 5 months old she got heart surgery.

About Riley zajicek:Hi my name is Riley Zajicek & I have 2 sisters & 1 brother my 2 sisters both have Down syndrome & the one has cancer as well my family has been through so much but I've learned life just gets better!
Share
View less ▲

Do you have a story to tell?

Tell us your story so we can publish it here for others to see.

Upcoming Events


Date

Event

Location

Mar 1, 2015
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The New 'R' Word is RESPECT Pledge Drive

Opportunity to PLEDGE, with music, films, information about local services, co-hosted by area colleges, schools, agencies and community groups.
For more information
Patricia Gooding
Email :levelgreen2010@gmail.com
Phone :607-339-9472
View More

Center Ithaca
Ithaca, New York
UNITED STATES

Mar 2, 2015
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Spread the Word to End the Word -Hartland/Lakeside School District

Students and Community will be able to sign a Banner and the on-line pledge as well as receive promotional items.
For more information
Julie Van Zeeland
Email :jvanzeeland@hartlake.org
Phone :262-370-4908
View More

Hartland/Lakeside School District
800 E. North Shore Drive

Hartland, Wisconsin
UNITED STATES

Mar 3 - 5 2015

R-word Campaign Week

In the first week of March, Special Olympics at UCLA is partnering with Best Buddies at UCLA to host the R-word Campaign, which aims to encourage Bruins to end their use of the R-word (retard or retarded) in their everyday speech. The campaign is a week-long series of events, with rallies on Bruin Plaza on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a professional panel on Thursday evening. We will be inviting Bruins to pledge to end the R-word by signing their name on our "Spread the word to End the word" banner, passing out pledge cards, wristbands and pens, and inviting speakers like Special Olympics Southern California President and CEO Bill Shumard to talk about how the r-word has affected their lives and how to end the stigma against people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
For more information
Tabitha Lin
Email :lin.tabitha@gmail.com
Phone :562-964-5671
View More

Bruin Plaza
Bruin Plaza

Los Angeles, California
UNITED STATES

MORE »

Spread the Word 3.04.15

Our annual day of awareness, the first Wednesday of every March, is fast approaching! Make sure you have all the resources you need to end the R-word on 03.04.15!

Join Us to End the Word

We are spreading the word on your favorite sites. Join us!

Act Now!

Pledge your support to eliminate the demeaning use of the r-word.

PledgeactPledges

We've Pledged!

  • Since when do people think there is any kind of "normal" in this world? Nothing and no one is "normal" because our entire planet is extraordinary. This word ends here.

    Taylor

    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    59 hours ago

  • I pledge to support RESPECT by pledging to be a friend and an advocate to individuals with IDD. I will not use the derogatory r-word and support including all individ...

    ...

    Maria Garcia

    Amarillo, TX , Texas
    60 hours ago

  • Today in a meeting I used the word, without a thought in the world, and wound up offending and upsetting someone who I deeply respect. My consciousness is raised. I a...

    ...

    Michelle Goldstein-Roman

    Scarsdale, New York
    76 hours ago

  • I have been so blessed with incredible friends who happen to have mental handicaps. They have showed me how to truly love one another, and their disabilities should never...

    ...

    Kaitlyn

    Grayslake, Illinois
    505 hours ago

  • With a brother who has Down-Syndrome, it's hard for me to hear people say "retard." It might just be that I'm sensitive about it, but I pledge to support the elimination...

    ...

    Jack

    Beaverton, Oregon
    524 hours ago

  • Find pledges by name, city, state/country, or school/organization

    Find
  • See All Pledges »

Get Our Newsletter

Get the latest R-word.org news.

Subscribe