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People use the R-word carelessly or as an insult. Here are stories about ways we've dealt with it. For more information go to www.r-word.org.
Joyce Poggi Hager
When I joined Team Unify, I didn't know what to expect. Now I know. I've already made new friends and saw the whole picture on what the program is about. #respect
The kids in my life
I have 2 kids on the Autism spectrum, and they are very active physically but a little behind intellectually. They are the best artist at their age. They can use any gadget to draw. They are the loves of my life, and even with all the challenges, the
As the mother of a twenty six year old daughter with severe developmental delay, autism and deafness, I learned that not everyone sees differences positively. Joanna is determined, perceptive, funny, resilient and loving. Her disabilities are just one part of who she is. I wish more people defined di
I had never been privy to the harmful implications of the r-word until a few years ago. I was with my uncle, who has Down syndrome, as my mother was gently speaking to him about some bad behavior on his part. Suddenly, someone else in the room cut her off to say, "don't bother, he's the r-word." The s
This is for Lori Koepp, Lindsey Johnson, Paul Safarik, and little Ruby Rogers! This for all of the beautiful children and adults out there that deserve to be treated with RESPECT!
My brother was born with a learning disability. Using the R-word particularly is frowned upon in my family. All the time, I hear cases where he comes home saying he was made fun of because of his difficulty understanding and dealing with change. He is not as quick of a learner as everyone else. Hav
I play soccer, golf, track and field and do figure skating. I give back to my community. I help with my figure skating club. I've helped young figure skaters learn to skate for five years. I also help with a group called Fundamentals. I help with exercise and healthy eating. This is who l am. I like to hang out with my boyfrien
Throughout all my elementary and middle school years, I was the shyest person you could meet. Going into my high school years was terrifying. I wasn't so involved my freshman year, but it didn't stop me from looking for ways I could get more involved. My sophomore year, I learned about a club called Pr
I have a cousin with Down syndrome, and I have learning disabilities and being in resources rooms, I was teased a lot growing up. I always hated the r word; it makes me cringe when people say it. Now having a special needs autistic child myself, I would hate someone to say this to him.
My sister, who has Down syndrome, is one of the most influential people in my life. She has taught me more about love and compassion than any other person I know. It has always hurt me deeply to hear people use the R word.
Once upon a time, a magical boy was born, and he happened to be my very own brother. I still remember the day he came home from hospital when I was just 3 years old. I knew he was special, before even understanding his severe & rare disability of Moebius syndrome.. as I myself was at a young age. I he
I have been employed as a Direct Support Professional for Bethesda Lutheran Communities in the St. Louis area for several years and have been in the field for 15 years. I have promoted that the R word should be for RESPECT. I am so blessed to support the wonderful individuals who enhance MY life
I began working with individuals full time six months ago, and I can tell you for a fact what a blessing it is to have such a wonderful job with incredible people who never give up and always want to strive for more no matter what success they may have attained so far. They’re truly people just like
Someone called my friend named Mary Kate the r-word, so I took action and told them to stop. They didn't listen and kept doing it, so I told my school counselor, and they all had to write sorry letters and got detention.
Jaime M. Johnson BSW
I've worked in the mental health field for over 21 years. I have advocated for individuals with disabilities since I was a teenager. I have taught my kids that the "r" word is a "NO" word in any conversation. They constantly correct their friends and other family members. My children have learned to
When I heard about it brought me down so much and that's why we're doing spread the word to end the word. I do respect and pledge.
My uncle, Micheal, has autism, is blind and physically handicapped. But for me, he’s my family. He’s a human being. Throughout high school, people would tease him or whisper when we walked by with him, and he knew he was different. But with his strong heart and soul, he was courageous and still filled with lo
I Pledge not to use the R word. Everyone is born as the same kind of human species. The R word does NOT exist in my Vocabulary.
I take this pledge to stand up for you. To stop it from being used to describe something or someone. For I pray you will not ever know this word as something bad. For you are a beautiful young lady who allows all to shine around you.
I signed the pledge to support all special needs individuals. My daughter has intellectual disabilities and at the age of 6, she was in kindergarten at a public school in NY. At that time we were told that she would never progress past a 5 year old mentality. She has since graduated high school, lov
I first realized how hurtful this word was when I was in elementary school. I was diagnosed with Autism as an adult, and then it hurt even more. I was bullied all through school and felt alone and afraid. It wasn't until I joined Special Olympics and Butler Best Buddies that I wanted to spread the wo
This societal issue is long overdue. Please join me in helping to spread awareness! It’s about time that we grow as a society. Thank you very much for your support! 🧡
When I was going into 2nd or 3rd grade, I went to sports camp. We were playing baseball one day, and I struck out. This kid called me the r-word. I didn't know what that was at the time. After that, every day that week he kept calling me the r-word. At the end of the week, I looked it up and
This is Jessica Simon, and I am a global messenger for Santa Barbara Special Olympics. I am also athlete of the year, and I reach out to the community to stop the use of the r word and also tell people my feelings. I even tell them to stop using that word when I am out in the community. That is why
My life would have been very different if it had not included my Uncle Avery. He was 14 years older then me and I was his very first niece. He was born in 1964 and diagnosed with Down Syndrome. My grandparents could have put him in a home. But they couldn't and they didn't, and he became the light
Allison has LGS. She is 13, about 3 mentally. She can not talk, and has ‘drop seizures’. She has to wear a helmet to school, and that ‘begs’ for bullying. She is beautiful and amazing. We often have to leave places because she will be stared at and get upset. When she gets excited, she squeals. How
I went to sports camp going into 3rd grade. We were playing baseball. I got three strikes and I was out, as the game goes. This kid going into the fifth grade called me the r-word. I didn't know what that means. The camp ended and I looked up the word. I was really
I have two mentally disabled uncles and a deceased aunt that also was. I've heard the r-word my entire life and to say it irritates me is an understatement. They can't help that they're born that way and they shouldn't be mocked because of it. I'm glad someone's taking the initiative to get rid of this d
One time, in school, the school bully called me the r-word and made fun of me for my cerebral palsy. He slapped the milk out of me hand and pushed me down. It really hurt my feeling and I don't like being called the r-word.
Whenever I was around people with disabilities and others made fun of them I would yell that the r-word was a bad word. When anyone says that word in a bad way I yell that it's a bad word. My aunt's son has a disability and I hate when people use the word to describe him. He's much more then that
Raydog used to be my favorite user on IMGFLIP. And then I saw that he uses the R-Word in his comments a LOT. I told him about the site. He said grow a thicker skin. I sent him the link to this website. I don't know if it helped. But I would feel like a rock besides the road if I didn't say anything.
My name is Jennifer Pitts. I am A special needs person. I have been in Special Olympics for 30 years already. I been in a lot different sports I have over 300 medals
Chelsea is in my class, she has down syndrome. Her mom today came and talked about r-word, she talked about the history behind the word. And how she (Chelsea) looks like she's happy or fine, but just like us she is hurt or sad. Any emotions you have she has too. I now am forever her friend help
I have an 18 year old granddaughter and a 2 year old great granddaughter with Down Syndrome !! I am so blessed to have these beautiful girls in my life !! The best part is their unconditional love that they give expecting nothing more than your love in return !! I thank God for making me their Gra
My name is Madeline rose hamm. I learned not to say anything about the R word. I will end the word. I have friends and family to support. We know who we are. I am not gonna let anyone to bring people down
This is our third year as a Special Olympics Unified Champion school and this year we hosted / will host our third Spread the Word to End the Word Event. Our Unify Reps share to all of our 4th and 5th graders why the R Word is hurtful and offensive word. We have guest speaker DJ Svoboda speak. Our w
I have pledged that my vocabulary will never have the stigmatizing words that are derogatory words that are extremely inappropriate to young people who have disabilities.
You should treat every one equal. God made us in his vision. No one is perfect. Stop using the r word. Help spread the word. Love each other the same way you want others to treat you.
My brother had Down Syndrome. We learned from early on the r word was unacceptable. As he grew older he became upset if he heard anyone use it. There's no place for it in anyone's vocabulary. EVER
Both my kids are special needs. I also have a nephew who is quadriplegic. I see how words hurt and I will fight to stop ignorance as long as I can. I have been a volunteer and a parent and aunt to Special Olympics athletes and every athlete has a loving heart and I am honored to know all of them . Igno