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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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Texas to Celebrate Annual "Spread the Word to End the Word" Day onWednesday
Special Olympics Texas

February, 2017

Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) encourages all Texans to stop using the words “retard” and “retarded”.  Wednesday, March 1 is the ninth national Spread the Word to End the Word® activation and awareness day, and all are invited and encouraged to take the pledge against the ‘R-word’.


Spread the Word to End the Word® is an on-going effort to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word "retard(ed)" and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word. The campaign is intended to get schools, communities and organizations to rally and pledge their support to help create communities of inclusion and acceptance for all people.


SOTX will raise awareness by having a visible presence at the Texas State Capitol on March 1. Athletes and their families from all across Texas will hand out “Spread the Word” stickers to all 181 legislative offices and provide Capitol staffers with information about SOTX’s ongoing efforts to replace the R-Word with a new one: “Respect” for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


In addition, schools across the state will hose events that will encourage students to take a true commitment toward discontinuing the use of the R-word in an effort to show respect for their peers and to create a more inclusive environment. 


For Spread the Word to End the Word® videos, visit


Background on the R-word

In 2004, Special Olympics changed its terminology from mental retardation to intellectual disabilities in response to a call from our athletes who did not want to be associated with the negative connotations tied to the term, mental retardation.  The change in terminology also moves us forward, as a nation, to be more aligned with the international community.  It is our responsibility to spread the message that the R-word (and associated terms) is not only disrespectful and hurtful, but outdated. That is why Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is asking all Texans to take the pledge, ban the R-word and change their vocabulary. For more information on the R-word campaign, visit


About Special Olympics Texas

Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect.  SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 58,300 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship.  To learn more, visit or call 800.876.5646. Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexas;;


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