In the United States, 6.5 million people live with intellectual disabilities. For many of them, there is one word that is part of the common American lexicon that is especially hurtful and demeaning:
This term used to be an actual medical term that was totally acceptable, but over the years, it’s been used to put people down and is now derogatory. According to the organization R-Word, this term is now even considered hate speech!
But is it ever okay to use the “r-word” in conversation, even when it is not your intention to upset or degrade people with intellectual disabilities?
This video makes the answer clear.
While eliminating the “r” word from your vocabulary is a great step to fostering acceptance for those with intellectual disabilities, there’s even more you can do to help.