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Your Stories

July 03, 2015 | North America: Texas

How I grew up and quit using the R word

By Ernest Strother

I remember in high school a long, long time ago when school kids rode dinosaurs to school that we use to tease the intellectually challenged call them the r-word. After I got out of school and into college we still called people the r-word.View Story ▼I remember in high school a long, long time ago when school kids rode dinosaurs to school that we use to tease the intellectually challenged call them the r-word. After I got out of school and into college we still called people the r-word. Only now we were calling people who got into college the r-word for just making a stupid mistake. It was not until they started putting commercials on TV about how it was wrong to use the r-word that I finally understood it was not a word to be used. Until then myself and my peers used it like you would use the word beautiful to describe your girlfriend or handsome to describe your boyfriend. It was easy to change once it was hammer into my brain that the r-word was just like using the n-word.

About Ernest Strother:learning to become a high school teacher
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July 03, 2015 | North America: Georgia

R-word=Respect

By Alex Yang

My partner and I at the Emory Summer Games!

Prior to a series of life changing experiences, I used the r-word profusely. I thought it was a common teenager thing and made you sound "cool." Boy was I wrong.View Story ▼Prior to a series of life changing experiences, I used the r-word profusely. I thought it was a common teenager thing and made you sound "cool." Boy was I wrong. This year I discovered a local organization called Special Pops Tennis. As an avid tennis player, I enjoyed the thought of being able to coach tennis, and decided to volunteer with Special Pops. I started going there twice a week and realized the incredible urge to have fun and succeed these people, who spanned all ages, had. Not only that, I was stunned by their incredible potential- some of the older players gave me a run for my money, and I'm a seasoned player. It was truly astonishing. At the conclusion of the training season, most of the players were off to the summer games held at Emory. I signed up to play as a doubles partner and had a blast. My talented and energetic partner was the reason we won gold medals The experience was so rewarding I will attend the 2015 Special Olympics World Games . I now have utmost respect

About Alex Yang:My name is Alex Yang. I am a junior attending Johns Creek High School. I am an avid tennis player and compete for my school team and in USTA tournaments. I also volunteer as a coach and UP.
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July 03, 2015 | North America: Arizona

Hearing the "R" word does the same to me as fingernails on a chalk board

By Maigan's Mom

I have a 13-year-old daughter who has Down syndrome and possibly autism. Most people in my life know about my daughter yet they still throw the "R" word around like it is nothing more than a word.View Story ▼I have a 13-year-old daughter who has Down syndrome and possibly autism. Most people in my life know about my daughter yet they still throw the "R" word around like it is nothing more than a word. To me the "R" word is right up there with the "N" word, it is disrespectful and degrading. People living with a cognitive disability (formerly known as “Mental Retardation”) are beautiful, smart, funny, loving and amazing human beings whose rhythm just might be at a difference pace than most. So I challenge everyone to think before you speak and don’t be so quick to name call or label people especially someone or something that seems a little different, be kind and appreciative to others.

About Maigan's Mom:Mom of an amazing and beautiful young lady
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July 03, 2015 | North America: Georgia

My Challenges

By Jay Nayar

I was born mildly challenged with birth defects in Orlando, Florida in January 1974 and raised there.I've gone to special ed in schools growing up in the '80s and early '90s, graduated in '92. I came to live in a program called Annandale for people with disabilities in Suwanee, Georgia.View Story ▼I was born mildly challenged with birth defects in Orlando, Florida in January 1974 and raised there.I've gone to special ed in schools growing up in the '80s and early '90s, graduated in '92. I came to live in a program called Annandale for people with disabilities in Suwanee, Georgia, in1996, and here now work in a warehouse five days a week as a janitor. I go to the Mall of Georgia by myself to see movies every weekend and Methodist church on sundays. I'm pretty high-functioning, trying to work on my life goals the best I can. As for me being a man it's an emotional struggle for me being accepted by my peers and family and society.

About Jay Nayar:
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June 30, 2015 | North America: Wisconsin

That "R" Word...

By Celese Dodge

This is my daughter Jennifer with her team mates at Regional Competition for Track & Field

I grew up with working with challenged children while in grade school and even though it was the "normal" thing to call challenged persons "retarded", I never liked it and would even fight with others who called my fellow classmates 'retarded".View Story ▼I grew up with working with challenged children while in grade school and even though it was the "normal" thing to call challenged persons "retarded", I never liked it and would even fight with others who called my fellow classmates 'retarded". Then I volunteered with challenged chidren in a hospital/home situation and became an even bigger advocate for hating that "R" word. Now I have a challenged daughter that is 38 years old and have fought to get rid of that word all her life. Then I started volunteering with the Special Olympics and have fought more to get rid of that word. I have always hated it and always will. I always correct people and tell them not the r word but challenged or special needs but never the r word please.

About Celese Dodge:I am a 59 year old mother of an awesome challenged adult that is the love my life and in the Special Olympics of Wisconsin. Because of her I became involved in the Special Olympics, became a coach.
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Spread the Word 3.04.15

Our annual day of awareness was March 4. You can still take the pledge, and if you have a story to share, please do.

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  • 3 of my brothers have disabilities, so I always correct people when they use the r-word. I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from ev...

    ...

    Rheannan

    Canberra, Australia
    606 hours ago

  • Every day I hear people throw around the word like is nothing, and every time I hear the word I ask them to "choose a different word." Most people when I say that choose ...

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    Andrea Nickle

    Elkton, Maryland
    638 hours ago

  • As an educator, and one who grew up around those with special needs I see the vitality of all human lives to treated with equal respect and love!

    Emily Bogenschutz

    Dallas, Texas
    659 hours ago

  • For my two time State Special Olympian Steffanie, I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance...

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    Jeffrey Zimnickas

    Sterling Heights, MI, Michigan
    659 hours ago

  • My students and I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with inte...

    ...

    Emily Tupi & Room 203

    Carnegie, Pennsylvania
    1440 hours ago

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