The R-word is the word ‘retard(ed)’.
Spread the Word to End the Word™ is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics and our supporters 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 engage schools, organizations and communities to rally and pledge their support at www.r-word.org and to promote the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Respectful and inclusive language is essential to the Special Olympics movement for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities. However, much of society still does not recognize the hurtful, dehumanizing and exclusive effects of the word “retard(ed).”
While Mental retardation was what doctors, psychologists, and other professionals used to describe people with significant intellectual impairment, today the R-word has become a common word used by society as an insult for someone or something stupid.
As language has evolved, Special Olympics has updated its official terminology to use standard, people-first language that is more acceptable to constituents, replacing the terminology of “mental retardation” to “intellectual disability.”
Help spread the word to end the word.