Respect is the new R Word
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.
The R-word ("retard" or "retarded") is an offensive, cruel and painful word. While it's true that the R-word is used in the medical profession as a diagnosis term for someone who has a developmental delay, the word has become slang and is used as a hurtful way to degrade someone. The R-word is often used as a way to make fun of others.
In 2009, all County Boards in the state of Ohio removed the R-Word from their names. Similarly, many other organizations and providers of service who support people with disabilities changed their names as well. The effort to remove the R-Word was started by self-advocates. They began organizing a plea to state law-makers, requesting the change. 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.
The Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities is founded on the belief that all people, regardless of circumstances, have inherent worth and the right to be treated with dignity.
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. The campaign is on-going, and joins many similar national campaigns.
Coloring book for children.
We produced a coloring book for children which provides a broad overview of developmental disabilities. The book can be a good starting-point for a conversation with your child about disabilities. Click here to download the coloring book. If you would like to receive printed copies in the mail call (513) 273-8230.
Find the right words.
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.
Erase the R-Word bookmarks
Click here to download a free bookmark geared toward school-age children.
Click here to download the Erase the R-Word poster created by the Board.
Erase the R Word video
Click here or on the video box below to view the Erase the R-Word six minute video.
Erase the R Word public service announcement
Click here or on the video box below to view the Erase the R Word 30-second public service announcement:
- www.r-word.org/ - This web site, created by the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation for the Benefit of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, offers many additional resources about ending the use of the R-word.
- Not Acceptable video - a public service announcement that ran on the TV show Glee this year (WARNING: the video contains very strong language).
- R-word counter - a counter displaying how many times the R-word appears on the internet.
- The Social Challenge - a web site that displays in real time the uses of the R-word on Twitter and offers methods to challenge those that use it.
The bottom line: The R-word hurts people. It's not okay to call someone the R-word when they do something foolish or silly. It's not okay to use the R-word when you don't agree with something.
It's not okay to use the R-word.