WISC EDITORIAL AGENDA 2013 – THE VIEWERS AGENDA/ THE “R” WORD
There are a lot of words that contribute to the stigma of having a disability or a mental illness. “Crazy,” “nuts,” “mental,”…we’ve all heard them and we all know when they are insensitive and hurtful. “Retard, or “retarded,” is one of those words, and one of the worst. With very rare exception, when used to describe a limiting effect of some kind, usually with something like a fire, or progress…retard is a damaging, stigma-inducing word. Wednesday morning, in Janesville, some folks who have witnessed first-hard the impact of the inappropriate use of that word spoke up.
It’s the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign, started by young people in Special Olympics, Best Buddies, and other organizations. The mother of a young worker at KANDU Industries in Janesville let us know her son was participating in this week’s rally to invite people to sign a pledge to stop using the word. We think it’s great, it’s smart, and it’ll be effective. And we thank our viewer in Janesville for adding it to our Viewers Agenda.