How Do I Make The R Word Pledge

How Do I Make The R Word Pledge

Words have power. Unfortunately, some of this power is negative. The r word pledge is a campaign against the use of retard or retarded to refer to people who are thought to be intellectually disabled. This name is considered derogatory and offensive. By avoiding such a reference, communities can accept the individuals easily. It creates the right attitude of a more accommodating society. It is also respectful and will spur the right actions towards these people.

The gist of this campaign is to show the variation in gifts other than inability. The argument is that not everyone can swim, walk, sing, run, etc as fast as everyone else. This does not make the people any less valuable. There is need, therefore, to get rid of this word to avoid battering the self esteem of affected people. Everyone should be regarded with dignity despite certain shortcomings.

It is the mainstreaming of the term mental retardation or mentally retarded that is causing a problem. The connotative meaning was to be reserved for clinical or medicinal use. Doctors used it to refer to a developmental condition. Today, its street use is to tell off a person whose act is considered stupid or thoughtless. The problem arises when it is used on persons with actual mental condition. It gives them a tag that indicates less value than ordinary human beings.

The hurtful aspect of referring to a developmental condition as retardation is the lack of appreciation of the special gifts such a person possesses. The focus becomes on what the person cannot do instead of what he or she is capable of doing. This action is hurtful and should be condemned. With more people pledging to eliminate such reference from ordinary speech, the trend will be reversed.

The campaign has its genesis during an activation event for Special Olympics in 2009. The event and participants sort to focus on the special abilities of people with developmental or cognitive disabilities instead of highlighting their deficiencies. Their argument was that these people have the capacity to equally enjoy life and all experiences like ordinary human beings. There is no need to make them feel any less human.

Pledges are registered on the official campaign website where you are required to give the name, residence city and country or state where you come from. You may add details about your organization or school, but these are optional. These details are filled on a prompt form with your commitment being displayed for the world to see. You are invited to sign in for a monthly newsletter containing calendar of events, news and more campaign information.

Most people ask, What is wrong with her/him, when they spot a mentally impaired person. The aim of this campaign is to turn the shine on what the person can do other than his or her deficiencies. Being on a wheelchair is equated to inability to swim, sing, draw, etc. It does not make anyone any less valuable.

People making pledges are invited to share personal experiences with mentally impaired persons. The experiences will help people view the victims as ordinary human beings only that they are alternatively gifted. By creating a positive aura around the issue the affected persons will feel more dignified.

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