Spread the Word to END the Word!

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Today is a very special day.

It is Spread the Word to End the Word Day!


Maybe you have heard of this day?  I know I am on social media every year letting the world know I have pledged.  That I pledge #Respect thru my words & actions. To help create communities of inclusion for people with Intellectual Disability (ID).

What is ID?

Intellectual disability is a below-average cognitive ability referring to an individuals general mental capability which involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience. (The ARC)

Who are individuals most likely to have ID?

Studies show that somewhere between one (1) percent and three (3) percent of Americans have intellectual disability.  There are many causes of intellectual disability, factors include physical, genetic and/or social.

The most common syndromes associated with intellectual disability are autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

What is Spread the Word to End the Word?

Spread the Word to End the Word is an on-going effort to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed)” and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word. The campaign is intended to get schools, communities and organizations to rally and pledge their support to help create communities of inclusion and acceptance for all people.

When someone uses the r-word, either to describe a person or not, they are using the word in a negative context.

It is time to stop using the R-word



My point?  It is never okay to use the R – word.

Language affects attitudes. Attitudes affect actions. Make your pledge to use respectful people first language and help eliminate the use of the r-word in everyday speech. 


Are you done with the R-word?  Then don’t hesitate and make the pledge to eliminate the R-Word from our vocabulary!

Sign the pledge found here.


Pledge #Respect by not using the r-word and encourage others to do the same!



Intellectual Disability, The ARC, 2016, https://www.thearc.org/learn-about/intellectual-disability



12 thoughts on “Spread the Word to END the Word!

    1. I know, I agree – I hear it when someone is describing something frustrating. And instead of saying, “This is frustrating” they say, “This is r-word.” And I just kindly ask them not to use the word.

  1. When I was growing up, that was a very common word. Now, however, I don’t ever hear it used.

    I have a lot of faith in the youth of our world though. I believe that the majority of them will grow up to be more tolerant, respectful, aware and accepting of the differences among us.

    (I’m in Canada, and if I were to hear someone use the word “retarded” in any context, I would be shocked. Is it still common elsewhere?)

    1. You are right – I have never heard a child say the word. But just last year at a dinner party, a fellow parent said when describing a frustrating situation. I have 2 kids on the spectrum and my friend has a child with Down Syndrome. My friend stopped him right away, and explained the word is no longer used – and he admitted he was very embarassed to have used the word and apologized. I think our kids are more tolerant and aware – and a lot of times may not even see differences. Which is great! I agree, when we were growing up it was pretty common. That and saying something is “gay.” We may just be spreading the word to break the habits of our generation.

      1. I’m glad your friend spoke up, and I’m glad the person realized and accepted their mistake. For some people, words like this are a habit that they don’t give any thought to. Hopefully, bringing more awareness to it will help to change that. <3

        1. Yes, I agree. I hadn’t hear the word but have been pledging for a few years now. I figured the word must still be out there for these individuals to want to create this movement. And then when I did hear it, I realized he did not mean to be offensive – he was just using a habitual word. Once he was made aware how hurtful the word is, he stopped using it – and will now end the word when he hears someone else say it. So that’s cool!

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