Many of you who are reading this already know how hurtful the R-Word can be for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I imagine that if you know someone with an intellectual or developmental disability, you probably don't use the word in your regular speech. If you have already chosen to take the R-Word out of your vocabulary, or if you want to do that starting now, please visit the End the R-Word website to sign a pledge.
Many of us have a story to tell about how the R-Word has been hurtful to them, and to others that they care about. The video below is of a high-school senior named Soeren Palumbo, who has a sister with a developmental disability.
Even if you have already pledged to not use the R-Word yourself, I encourage you to make the additional pledge to call out others around you when they use the word. Let them know how painful the word can be to others, and encourage them to use a different word next time. Together we can erase the R-Word and help our community become more respectful of others.
To celebrate this effort, Innovations will be hosting an End the R-Word event. We encourage everyone to attend, and bring artwork to share that emphasizes the new R-Word: RESPECT. The event will be held on Thursday, March 27th from 1pm-3pm at our main offices at 1665 Coal Creek Drive, in Lafayette, Colorado. We look forward to seeing you there!