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Spread The WordHelp us raise awareness about the hurtfulness of the R-word by pledging and sharing your stories year round.Pledge Now  
Take The PledgeSpecial Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver invites U.S. presidential candidates to take the pledge, too.
Read what he said
Years of ProgressIn the years since the R-word campaign started, real change has taken place. Read more
"Join Our Quest"Special Olympics Virginia athlete John "Frank" Stephens shares a poem with the Huffington Post.
Read Frank's New Poem
R-word VideosSee the newest R-word videos on YouTube.Check them out
Tweet Your PledgeHere's your tweet-ready text:
I pledge #Respect thru my words & actions. Will you? Pledge now to create communities of inclusion for people with ID http://r-word.org  Here's how  

Your Stories

June 23, 2016 | North America: Arkansas

Spreading The Word For Amanda

By Jordan R.

I have a 34-year-old cousin named Amanda. She was born on August 8, 1981. Amanda has a missing chromosome and also has Down Syndrome.View Story ▼I have a 34-year-old cousin named Amanda. She was born in 1981. Amanda has a missing chromosome and also has Down Syndrome. I sent her a birthday card, and a valentine. She throws a fit if she hears any loud noise. She spends all day in her room listening to music. She lives in Arkansas.

About Jordan R.:My name is Jordan. My cousin's name is Amanda. She is 34 years old and I am 13. I just want to help widen her life a little.
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June 23, 2016 | North America: Iowa

Sister who struggles

By Tatum Jensen

My sister has always been different and has been bullied for it. She is intellectually disabled so she doesn't learn at a normal pace.View Story ▼My sister has always been different and has been bullied for it. She is intellectually disabled so she doesn't learn at a normal pace and she cannot stay on one task. Our school is not very good at explaining to kids about what disabilities are and how they affect different people so my sister gets bullied a lot more than I would like. It got even tougher for her when she went into the hospital for a month for kidney failure. Then she had to do dialysis and then on to ventilation. After that she had to have a feeding tube for the first couple weeks of her school year. A few weeks before going back to school when she was still in the hospital, she had a stroke. That made it harder for her to learn. She has struggled but that doesn't mean she isn't as human as you and me.

About Tatum Jensen:13 year old. I go to central Lyon in Rock Rapids
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June 14, 2016 | North America: New Hampshire

Teens stand up against the "R" word

By Kelly Fontaine

My mouth dropped but before I could spring into action a bunch of the other students corrected the student who had said the R-word.View Story ▼I teach special education at the high school level. During our schools community service day a group of my students were hanging out with the other high school students. Suddenly I heard one of the high school students say, "Isn't he (r word)" in reference to one of my students. My mouth dropped but before I could spring into action a bunch of the other students corrected the student who had made this statement. The other students said loudly and clearly, "We don't say that anymore."

About Kelly Fontaine:I am in my 26th year of teaching in a life skills program for students from 14-21 years old. My students are the passion in my life.
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June 14, 2016 | North America: Ohio

Baby brother

By Deana

I pledge to end the r word because my little brother has autism, he's not the r word at all he is one of the smartest kids I know. I couldn't be more proud to have him in my life.View Story ▼I pledge to end the r word because my little brother has autism, he's not the r word at all he is one of the smartest kids I know. I couldn't be more proud to have him in my life.

About Deana :I'm a proud sister of a sweet little boy with autism.
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June 14, 2016 | SOI General: Headquarters

An R-word Success Story

By Christy Weir

In April 2016, Special Olympics leaders heard of a comedy bit that used the R-word in harsh ways. Here's how the story ended up in success.View Story ▼In April 2016, Special Olympics leaders heard of a comedy bit that used the R-word in harsh ways. It was in an on-demand special on Showtime. Comedian Gary Owen mocked people with intellectual disabilities. He used the R-word time after time. People who saw the clip were outraged.  Special Olympics and other disability groups fought back. They urged Showtime to remove the segment. They asked Owen to meet with the people he had mocked. Owen agreed. He asked Showtime to pull down that part of his show. Showtime did so.  Owen then traveled to meet four people with intellectual disabilities in Washington, D.C. The four, Julie Petty, Loretta Claiborne, Frank Stephens and Ricardo Thornton, told Owen their personal stories.  After the meeting, Owen agreed not to use the R-word in his shows.

About Christy Weir:I am the director of media and public relations for Special Olympics
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Spread the Word 3.02.16

Our annual day of awareness was 2 March 2016. You can still take the pledge, and if you have a story to share, please do.

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    Pleasanton, California
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