If you’re anything like me, it really grates me when people don’t think about the language that they use. Especially when it is in a negative way or used to put people down.
So, when I heard about a campaign that challenges people to think about using the word “retarded”, I was especially interested since we all know how much it is part of popular culture.
It’s a word that modern society uses freely and openly. No one flinches when they speak it or write it and very few people question the use of it as everyday language.
However, the ‘R’ word is incredibly offensive and derogatory not just to those people with an intellectual and physical disability but also to their friends, families and support teams. The word makes people feel excluded, different and not accepted by the community.
Did you know that the ‘R’ Word is used on Social Media every 5 seconds?
On Twitter alone, the stats are staggering with at least:
125,000 + Uses of the R Word per week
17,858 + Uses per day
744 per hour
12 per minute.
Here at Physical Disability Australia, we were particularly interested in this campaign as we value dignity inherent in all of us and we’re especially keen in efforts to improve the lives of our members.
By changing the language that society uses to describe people, we are highlighting out we are the same rather than different. We see this campaign as promoting inclusion for people with disabilities as well as to ensure that society becomes more diverse while providing equal opportunities for all of us.
The ‘R’ Word Campaign is simple. This campaign encourages people to consider the words they use and the impact they have on others. All in all, it’s a simple campaign to help raise awareness and educate the public on the very real impact of what the ‘R’ Word means to many, many people.
And we’re looking to you to help us take the campaign onto the world stage and to make society think about the language that they use.
Please visit the website www.therword.com.au, watch the videos, share the campaign on social media and most of all – please stop using the ‘R’ Word and call out those who do.
Feel free to share the material on the website on your own social media profiles and to spread the word that using the ‘R’ word is no longer acceptable.
Victoria Park, WA