Avivo have launched a campaign urging people to stop using the word ‘retard’ to demean people with disabilities.
Not-for-profit disability community group Avivo have set up a website and produced films and statistics to highlight the issue. The development of a twitter bot also enables mentions of the word to be tracked on twitter and subsequently challenged.
Launching the campaign in Perth, Western Australia, Disabilities Minister Stephen Dawson said the word appeared on social media every five seconds and was used casually and unthinkingly by people every day.
“The R word is insulting and disrespectful — not just to people with disability but also to their families, friends and carers. It’s never OK to use the
R word – not in humour or frustration. People should stop and think about whether they would use the word on someone they love before they
direct it towards somebody else.”
As Gabrielle explains in her film:
“The R word makes me feel like I’m a second-class citizen, not quite as good as everyone else, and not really part of society.”
Watch the launch film below and help spread the news about the campaign by sharing the films and statistics published on its website here.