Thursday, August 21, 2014

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Spread the Word to End the Word

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Rochester: Spread the Word to End the Word
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Many across the country spent Wednesday spreading the word to stop using a certain word. It's a national effort spearheaded by Special Olympics to eliminate the word retard, or retarded, from our vocabulary.

At the University of Rochester, they were spreading the word all across campus, asking students and visitors to sign a pledge to think about what they say and not use those words. They can be hurtful and damaging to those with disabilities.

Special Olympics established the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign in 2009, believing it's disrespectful and dehumanizing.

"We see that the word gets used as a put down or as a slam for somebody. People with intellectual disabilities are some of the most amazing people you will ever meet. When we see our athletes compete, the people that they are, the things that they bring are just amazing," said Onolee Stephan, Monroe County Special Olympics.

There are examples of success. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, this year the term mental retardation was eliminated from the pediatric dentistry board exam.

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