R-Word PSA Link

Campaign to End the R-Word featuring Bart Conner & Nadia Comaneci

News 9 Feature Story

Special thanks to Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci.


I have a sister with down(syndrome)…it does hurt so please stop.
– Rose

What is up with the R-Word?

We don't even like to say it. The R-word is "retard or "retarded".

How long has it been since you heard someone use the R-Word? Was it at school or in a mall or restaurant? Most people would never call a person with a disability by that term, but far too many people do think it’s funny to use it in conversation to describe someone who has made a mistake, or a situation that is ridiculous.

When you use the R-word you never know who is listening, it could be someone with a disability or someone who has a family member with a disability. Even if no harm is intended to people with disabilities, the R-word hurts.

I have a brother-in-law who is autistic, and it hurts me when people use the R word to describe something that isn’t as they wish it were. I felt like I was alone in feeling like the R word was hurtful, mean, and nasty.
– David

Vocabulary develops over time, and it will take time for you to eliminate the R-word from your own vocabulary. People with disabilities and their advocates understand that. All we ask is that you become more aware of the R-word and replace it with something new – maybe ridiculous, silly, outlandish or bizarre.

Don't just take our word for it - watch these videos and read these articles to better understand the vast impact the R-word has on people with disabilities. Share them with friends and family and help get the word out, the R-word hurts.

News Articles

The Hurtful Effects of the R-word - World of Special Olympics blog
Eddie Barbanell from the hit movie "The Ringer" talks about growing up different and the effects of the R-word. In a YouTube video Eddie is joined by Johnny Knoxville where the two discuss the reasons they don't use the R-word.

The 'R-word' is no joke - Los Angeles TimesFor the intellectually disabled and their families, the R-word can be just as bad as the "N"-word.

YouTube Videos

*This video contains strong languauge.


Learn more and take the pledge against the R-word at the following sites:

R-word.org Logo
therword.org logo