Link June 2018 Volume 27 Issue 3 - Page 6

link loves loves The R Word Campaign W hen you use the R word, it makes me feel sick to my stomach. I have a child with disability and it’s demeaning. It’s not a word that we want to hear, and it shouldn’t be a word that anybody uses to describe someone else. These words are from Lisa, 40, Left: Lisa with her sons Cooper, Ryder and Archer. Below left: Sisters Astrid and Amelia. – a word that appears on social media derogatory not just to people with approximately every five seconds. intellectual and physical disability, The R Word Campaign was launched in Western Australia earlier this year by not-for-profit community but also to their friends, families and support teams. “The word makes people feel organisation Avivo, with support excluded, different and not accepted from WA Disability Services Minister by the community,” she said. Stephen Dawson. The campaign highlights the “The campaign encourages people to consider the words they use who is mum of three boys, Cooper, inappropriate use of the R word and its and the impact they have on others. 10, and twins Ryder and Archer, 8. Lisa prolific use in society, particularly on It’s a simple campaign to help raise and Archer are part of The R Word social media. On Twitter alone, the use awareness and educate the public.” Campaign, a campaign which urges of the R Word is staggering with at least people to stop using the word ‘retard’ 125,000 uses of the R word per week. Sisters Astrid, 19, and Amelia, 17, are involved in the campaign. “When you use the R word, you’re As part of the campaign, when someone uses the R word on Twitter, it is flagged. The person then receives a Tweet with a video message from one of Avivo’s WA Campaign saying that my sister’s something Ambassadors who has personal that’s not very nice, and it’s really experience of disability. offensive to her, but it’s also offensive Kate, a friend, family member to me. And it’s more than just being and advocate, who is part of the politically correct, it’s very offensive campaign, has a poignant message: and it’s just not a very nice word to “It might just seem like a word, use,” Astrid said. but I can tell you it’s not. Change Avivo Chief Executive Officer Rosie Lawn said the R word is offensive and your words.” www.therword.com.au Share your views and read about all things disability-related at facebook.com/linkdisabilitymagazine 6 link loves linkonline.com.au