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Dear friends, as you know the usage of the "R-word" is still invasive within our society despite tremendous efforts by Special Olympics International, the Golisano Foundation and others including all of our efforts to help lead a campaign against it. Unfortunately many healthcare providers remain insensitive and unaware of the stigma of the "R-word" and how offensive and degrading it is. The AADMD is about to embark on a national campaign to encourage its members and other healthcare professionals to Take the Pledge to stop the hurtful use of the word 'retard(ed)' or as we call it, the "R-word".
We do appreciate your current person-centered care and appropriate usage of language but we recognize that we all have a shared responsibility in helping to spread the word to other health care providers who may not have be as sensitive to these issues. Taking the Pledge yourself is a strong step in this direction. Speaking out about this issue and encouraging others to do the same is our responsibly.
The United States began to officially change this language in 2010 when president Obama signed “Rosa’s Law”. This law removes the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" from federal health, education and labor policy and replaces them with people first language “individual with an intellectual disability” and “intellectual disability.” This began the current campaign in which people with Intellectual Disabilities were able to gain more dignity, inclusion, and respect. But the battle continues.
We are asking everyone to visit www.r-word.org and take the pledge. It only takes a minute of your time, it doesn't cost anything and we know that the collective impact can make a difference. Together we can create communities of acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.
The AADMD is posting this announcement onto its website as well as helping to remind everyone that March 7th, 2012 is the annual day of activation to "End the Use of the R-Word"
“Words matter. People don't need to scoff at others to make a point. Everyone has a gift and the world would be better off if we recognized it.”
Tim Shriver, CEO of Special Olympics
Thank you in advance for caring and for helping to "Spread the Word to End the R-Word".