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Spread the Word to End the Word

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"Spread the Word to End the Word" is a simple call to action: stop and think about the harmful and disparaging use of the word “retard,” and pledge to elimate it from your vocabulary. Our language impacts how we think about and treat others, and this simple pledge to stop using the r-word can help create a world where everyone is accepted, respected and valued.

How did it all begin?

A group of young adults, both with and without intellectual disabilities, saw the need for a movement that promoted the positive contributions of people with intellectual disabilities. The result was a campaign deemed "Spread the Word to End the Word."

What Are We Doing to Support the Cause?

Here at Villanova, we organize this campaign during an annual Advocacy Week. We publicize the event both throughout campus and on social media, and encourage students, faculty, and staff to sign a banner to show their support. Our goal is to raise awareness about this pivotal movement and to encompass a respectful environment for all, both at Villanova and beyond. Check out this video promoting Villanova's campaign, as the only r-word is RESPECT:

What Can I Do to Help?

Campaigns like ours are held throughout the United States every year to educate and raise awareness of why the use of the R-word is hurtful to our friends with different abilities. You can help by pledging to eliminate the R-word from your vocabulary and by encouraging those around you to do the same. Join the movement and make a difference!

Learn more about the R-word campaign and take the pledge at

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