Well since we're already on "pause" shall we take time for a public service announcement?
Check out this link and video:
I'm a big fan of Glee's Lauren Potter. Self-advocates rock! She's joined forces with Jane Lynch to help with the "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign. I've posted about it here and here before.
You can take the pledge to strike it from your vocabulary, spread the word on your own blog, and then encourage others to do the same. It's easier than you think ... trust me, I know. I was terrified to approach a couple friends about their use word "retard" was making me really uncomfortable. But I knew they were good people ... I figured once they knew what they were really saying they wouldn't want to use a word that was hurtful or cruel. And I was right. The brief conversations about the word were anything but awkward and they both thanked me later saying they hadn't realized how casual they'd become with it. Don't know how to get the conversation started with those around you? There are videos with ideas on how to get the ball rolling here.
Words hurt. And they can perpetuate harmful attitudes about value, ability, and diversity. Let's make life a little less painful, huh? So go on, Spread the Word! You'll be my hero if you do. And Lauren's.
(Read the pledge and think you can do it? Inspired enough to post a link on your own blog? Comment here to let me know and I'll enter you in a drawing for a $20 gift certificate to a place of your choice. Bribery? Nah. Motivation? Possibly, right?)
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...