I pledge that I will not use the words “retard” or “retarded” to mean “stupid.” I understand this word is hurtful to kind, productive, inspirational people. I pledge to take responsibility for the power words have on others – because we all have the power to open hearts and change minds.
Negative stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities are kept alive when people use demeaning words. Too often, people say “retard” or “retarded” without thinking about the effects these words have on others – even if it’s not meant in a mean way.
If you are not sure how to refer to someone with intellectual disabilities, check out the Special Olympics language guidelines
. Better yet, call them by their name. That’s what they really want; to be thought of as no different from you or me.
Intellectual disabilities know no boundaries. They touch everyone. A person with an intellectual disability could be your sister, your brother, your neighbor, your teammate, your classmate, your mentor or your teacher. Most importantly, a person with an intellectual disability can be your friend.
Join Special Olympics Virginia and other Special Olympics programs across the world as we come together to ban the “R” word. Sign the “R” word pledge today and take responsibility for the power words have on others – because we all have the power to open hearts and change minds.
For more information on how you, your company or your community can get involved with Special Olympics Virginia, contact our Volunteer Manager