Erase the 'R' word campaign
Because the terms “mental retardation” and “retarded” are overwhelmingly used as slang, self-advocates with developmental disabilities began an effort in 2008 to drop the terms from the names of the organizations serving them. Click here to watch a video made in 2008 by the members of our local self-advocates group, EPRO. The video addresses just how hurtful labels can be.
Self-advocates from EPRO and from around the state petitioned lawmakers to develop legislation that would allow all county boards to drop the ‘MR’ term from their name. In 2009, the Butler County Board of MRDD became the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
The Board has a new slogan – Supporting Possibilities. The Board’s programs support possibilities and encourage positive awareness about people with developmental disabilities. It is often attitudinal barriers that affect everyday life for people with developmental disabilities. In addressing those barriers through positive awareness efforts, fears and negative attitudes can be replaced with knowledge and understanding, and most importantly, respect.
After the name change, the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities began an “Erase the ‘R’ Word” campaign. The goal of the campaign is to help people realize just how hurtful the ‘R’ word is. Many people may use the ‘R’ word as slang without realizing that it has the power to hurt someone.
Awareness Campaign Materials
Coloring Book for Children - We produced an easy-to-read coloring book for children which also includes tips for parents. You can download the book by clicking here. If you would like to have copies printed for you, please call (513) 785-2814.
People First Language - Language is a reflection of how people see each other. That's why the words we use can hurt. Click here to download a one-page flyer about People First language. Click here to download a sheet of printable bookmarks.
Communicating with Respect and Dignity
Produced in conjunction with the Southwest Ohio Council of Governments (comprised of the County Boards of Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren) this video about communication with someone who has a disability was produced. It offers a few tips on how to communicate more effectively - speaking directly to a person and being patient are important!
The Butler County Board of DD has created four audio-visual tools to for the Erase the R Word awareness campaign.
Awareness Poster - this year's awareness poster highlights people in everyday life as friends, families and co-workers. Click here to see the poster.
Awareness Video - a six minute video explaining the "Erase the 'R' Word" slogan was created. The video includes the public service announcement and the radio commercial. It is being shared with community groups, civic organizations and local school districts. See it below:
Public Service Announcement - a 30-second public service announcement is running on select Time Warner Cable stations throughout the year. See the commercial below:
Radio Commercial - a 30-second commercial is runnign on 700 WLW throughout the year. Click here to download an MP3 file of the commercial.
For more information about the awareness campaign, or to schedule a speaker for your organization or class, contact Wendy Planicka, Community Relations Coordinator.
The Board also partnered with the Southwest Ohio Council of Governments (which includes the county boards of Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren) to produce advertising materials around the "Erase the 'R' Word" theme. The group ran advertisements in local theaters from December to March and also ran advertisements in local newspapers. The group has a web site: http://www.erasetherword.com