My housemate Katie has been working on a project for her Marriage & Family class that is in support of a cause. She chose to direct her project towards the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign, which promotes stopping the use of “retard” or “retarded” (the r-word) in society, replacing it with the word “respect.”
This is something that is close to my heart. I’ve always hated the use of ‘retard(ed).’ It’s frustrating, because it has become such a common word used to describe just about anything, especially to label people who have developmental delays or disabilities.
I’ve worked with kids and adults with special needs for years, my step-sister Tori is special needs (hydrocephalus and dandy walkers), and my sister Taylor is headed into the special education field. The people who are most likely labeled with the r-word are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Working with participants, most of them younger than age 21, at High Hopes has really opened my heart to individuals with special needs. I’ve been blessed to teach and work with these wonderful souls who teach me much more than I could possibly teach them.
Long story short, I was more than willing to help Katie with her video. It was deeply emotional, but really awesome at the same time. You should check it out!