How You Can Contribute
The Spread the Word to End the Word campaign, created by students with and without IDD in 2009, continues to make great strides in the fight to eliminate use of the R-word. The campaign continues because passionate supporters have created communities of respect, and those stories need to be shared to help make a lasting impact, because taking the R-word pledge is not just about a word – it’s about people. Help us tell your story:
• Everyone takes the R-word pledge for a reason that is personal to them. Maybe you have a sibling, relative or friend who has an intellectual disability? We want to make sure the world hears your appeals for respect. We want people to create their own personal tribute videos that creatively tell the story of why they took the R-word pledge and why they think others should also. Upload your R-word videos to You Tube and post them on our Facebook page, and they will get integrated on the R-word website in the “tribute videos” playlist for the world to see. Here is an example: http://www.r-word.org/r-word-for-russell.aspx
• There are extremely passionate fans taking the R-word pledge all over the world. Show us how and where the R-word has impacted you. Take a picture of yourself making your pledge to end the R-word, in your Spread the Word t-shirts, or in a creative way that shows off your support of the campaign. Tweet it to us @EndtheWord or post it on our Facebook wall. We will compile the best photos in a collage that will be posted as our Facebook Timeline cover photo on March 7th.
• You can create lasting change locally by contacting your state legislators and asking them to change official state language from ‘mental retardation’ to people first language, “people with intellectual disabilities”, to ensure that moving forward our laws and attitudes are shaped in a way that always puts a person before a condition. In October, 2010 President Obama signed “Rosa’s Law” which changed references in many Federal statutes to replace "mental retardation" instead to "intellectual disability”. To date, 43 states in the U.S. have passed or introduced similar legislation. Is your state one of them? Visit the R-word site to find out. If not, you can make a difference by contacting your state government and ask them to join their sister states in creating communities of respect and inclusion and updating their laws to include people first language.
Take the R-word pledge and tell us your story! For more information on the campaign and how to get involved, please visit www.facebook.com/EndtheWord and twitter.com/endtheword. For a list of R-word events around the world, please visit r-word.org/r-word-events.aspx.