Spread the Word to End the Word is an ongoing effort to inspire respect and acceptance through raising the consciousness of society about the R-word and how hurtful words and disrespect can be toward people with intellectual disabilities.
The campaign, created by youth, 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.
The annual day of awareness is held the first Wednesday of every March. While most activities are centered on or near that annual day in March, people everywhere can help spread the word throughout their communities and schools year-round thru pledge drives, youth rallies and online activation.
Spread the Word to End the Word was founded by college students Soeren Palumbo (Notre Dame 2011) and Tim Shriver (Yale 2011) in 2009, and continues to be led by passionate young people, along with Special Olympics athletes, Best Buddies participants, and the We Thrive Together family across the United States and in many other parts of the world.
Respectful and inclusive language is essential to the movement for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities. However, much of society does not recognize the hurtful, dehumanizing and exclusive effects of the R-word.
Language affects attitudes. Attitudes impact actions. Make your pledge for #Respect today at www.R-word.org.
Visit www.r-word.org to learn how you can Spread the Word to End the Word.
Going All In(clusive): This thematic is action-oriented—a motivational rallying cry that doubles down on the belief that everyone is the goal of our efforts. We are calling on people to share their stories of courage, dedication, and engagement for inclusion. There are encouraged to share when the last time was that they went all in(clusive)—totally committed to something, bet everything on a hand, stood up for something they believed in. In a call to action, each individual message is encouraged to end with a personal commitment on how they plan to “go all in” to take their own action for inclusion.
Going all in(clusive) also means speaking up against the wrong and demeaning use of the R-word in conversations. It is part of an education effort that showcases that language informs attitudes and attitudes impact actions.