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I pledge to support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech.


Spread the Word to End the Word is raising the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the R-word and urging people to resolve to stop using it as an insult, casual or intended.  (Take the pledge right now! ) Special Olympics has put together tools and resources to help you raise awareness and encourage more people to take the R-word pledge. Check them out.

"The earlier we can start teaching this awareness, the easier it will be to reverse the language, " wrote James Saetern of Sacramento, California, in an e-mail to Special Olympics. "This is not just a day of awareness, but a movement to end hate as a whole."

How It Started

Created by young people with and without intellectual disabilities, Spread the Word to End the Word is one element of Special Olympics’ vision of a world where everyone matters, where everyone is accepted and, most importantly, where everyone is valued. Leading the way in promoting acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics opposes prejudice and discrimination, continuously working to dispel the negative stereotypes associated with this population — the use of the R-word being one such stereotype. In a world that has worked to eliminate pejorative racial and ethnic language such as the “N word,” among others, the R-word is gaining popularity.

Actor and activist John C. McGinley, of the hit show “Scrubs,” helped with this effort by making national media appearances on behalf of the campaign.

What YOU Can Do

Take the R-word pledge to not use the word "retard" as a put-down

Download Spread the Word to End the Word resources

Special Olympics started this pledge with a single signature, and now has 9 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.

Today: Special Olympics is counting on you

Special Olympics needs your help with “I pledge to support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech.”. Join Special Olympics and 8 supporters today.