Help Us Spread the Word to
End the R-Word!
March 7, 2018 is National R-Word Day

The r-word, retard or retarded, is offensive and derogatory to people with developmental disabilities.
In this time of inclusion, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities deserve to be included and respected.

The words we use can include or exclude – and the word “retard(ed)” stops social inclusion in its tracks. As powerful self-advocate   Frank Stephens put it , “At best, [the R-word] is used as another way of saying ‘stupid’ or ‘loser.’ At worst, it is aimed directly at me as a way to label me as an outcast — a thing, not a person. I am not stupid. I am not a loser.
I am not a thing. I am a person.”

Moving away from excluding language can be a first step towards
inclusive action.

Thanks to your continued support, Rochester is leading the way on encouraging inclusive language! We are second in the US only to Chicago for generating the most online pledges!

So let's keep this momentum going by helping us raise awareness for the hurtfulness of the r-word and by encouraging others to take a stand, take the pledge and help us end the word.

We look forward to hearing from you on what you and your organization can do to help us spread the word to end the word.
Here are some things that you can do: 

  • Take the pledge yourself. It only takes a minute. 
  • Hold a pledge event on or around March 7, 2018.
  • Share your activities on social media. Use the hashtags #RocRespect #respect #rword and tag @GolisanoFDN (Twitter & Instagram) (Facebook).
  • Send an email to your constituents asking them to take the pledge online or attend your event.
  • Put a notice in your newsletters to encourage people to take the pledge. 
  • Add a banner to your website.
  • Post a challenge and personal stories on social media to your followers.
  • Change your organization's Facebook cover photo.
  • Share this email with your colleagues who can also help make a difference.
And here are  all the resources you need  to make it easy to spread the word.
Join Us at These Special Events to
Spread the Word
1370 AM, 107.5 FM, 88.5 FM in Rochester and 89.5 FM in Geneva

Tune In! To WXXI Connections with Evan Dawson February 28 at 12 Noon
Guests Include:
  • Ann Costello, Golisano Foundation Director;
  • Lindsay Jewett, Best Buddies Area Director;
  • Tiffany Pulcino, MD, Lead Doctor for URMC Complex Care Center;
  • Soeren Palumbo, co-founder of Spread the Word to End the Word and Sr. Director, Global Youth Engagement for Special Olympics
4245 East Ave., Rochester, NY
  • March 5 - 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Accessibility Day. Try using a wheelchair on the ramp at the information desk at Shults Center.
  • March 6 - 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Together Tuesday. How can we be more inclusive on campus? Answer this question during the lunch hour outside the diversity council room, Shults Center.
  • March 6 - 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Game Night with RIT Best Buddies Chapter, game room, Shults Center.
  • March 7 - 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Pledge Signing. Café Sorelle, Golisano Academic Center.
  • March 7 - 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Everybuddies Choir Performance, Wilmot Recital Hall.
  • March 9 - Light it up Blue. Wear blue on campus to show your support for disability awareness.
1 Manhattan Square Dr., Rochester, NY

March 7 - Pledge Stations
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • “The Happiest Hour” after-hours event from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. (21 and over).
657 East Ave., Rochester, NY

March 7 - Pledge Station
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
372 N Goodman St., Rochester, NY

March 8 - Spread the Word Event
  • 4 to 6 p.m.
Blue Cross Arena
100 Exchange Blvd., Rochester, NY
Pledge Tables

  • March 9 - 7:05 p.m.
  • March 11 - 3:05 p.m.

Spread the Word Amerks Game
  • March 23 - 4 p.m.
  • Banners and promotion throughout the game.
  • Open skate for kids and families from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Game starts at 7:05 p.m.
 378 Mt Hope Ave., Rochester, NY

March 14 - Happy Hour

  • 4 to 8 p.m.
  • $1 off drafts, pledge table, t-shirt give away