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Mar 06 2013

Letter To The Editor: Spread The Word To End The Word

Dear Editor,

As The Island Connection is a leader in driving local culture, we need your support, and the support of your readers, in our Spread the Word to End the Word campaign to help make a stand against a word that has gained popularity in culture, but is offensive to many. The “R-word” or “retard(ed)” has found a place in common language and seems to be accepted by most, despite the fact that its use, casual or otherwise, is hurtful to millions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those that love them.

The word hurts, even if it is not directed at a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For too long, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have had to overcome the challenges society has put forth through stereotypes. It is time for a change and you and your readers can help.

Special Olympics South Carolina athletes and Best Buddies participants accomplish great things, are members of our local communities and churches and deserve the same respect and dignity that each of us expects from others in return in our daily lives.

Help drive much needed change that will bring acceptance and inclusion to our community – include the R-word into your “Not Fit to Print” publishing guidelines alongside other hurtful and profane words. Your paper reaches thousand of people in the Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Goat Island, and Dewees Island community and with that influence you can help us get all of those members of the community to take the pledge at www.r-word.org. If the role of a local leader like Charleston Post & Courier is to inform and effect positive change in the community, what better way than helping us to Spread the Word to End the Word and in turn, create communities of acceptance and inclusion for all people? Please, we need you and your readers to pledge at www.r-word.org.

Sincerely,

Paula Byers

Special Olympics South Carolina

Montgomery Rd

Charleston

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