Spread the Word to End the Word day is coming up soon on March 7th. Prairie Best Buddies will be celebrating along with chapters from all over the country and world! This day is all about ending the use of the word ‘retard’ or ‘retardation’.
Devon Ashby, Special Education teacher and Best Buddies Advisor at Prairie High School said, “Spread the Word is an important day for everyone to take part in and become more aware. It used to be called Spread the Word to End the Word and regarded just the word retarded.”
Over time, the word has become slang for the older term mental retardation. Today that slang is used to replace other words such as stupid, dumb, unintelligent etc. by people all over. In all of those contexts, it is wrong. As this term has since been removed from the medical field to describe individuals, the correct term is someone with an intellectual or developmental disability.
Today Spread the Word to End the Word day is more than a small movement. With the involvement of Special Olympics, Best Buddies and other advocates have pushed for less use of the R-Word and using more of People First Language. When choosing words to use about people with disabilities, refer to the person first, not the disability. For an example, say a person with a disability instead of “disabled person” or say the student with autism, not the “autistic student.”
With the push for People First Language, “people are becoming more aware of how people with disabilities can be productive members of our society when given the right training, supports, and opportunities to show what they can do!” Ashby added.
This movement is all about being kind to others. Please be kind in anything you do and stop the use of the R-Word! Words like this can hurt even if you have no intention of it hurting someone. The online pledge can be signed here.
Happy Spread the Word to End the Word day! Best Buddies will be at all lunches on Wednesday with a poster you can sign!