Group pushes to stop the use of the ‘R-word’

Local News

The “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign returned to the University of Rochester Medical Center this year.

The event held in the URMC cafeteria Wednesday afternoon aims to spread awareness about ending the use of the R-word when to referring to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Those who attended could sign a pledge banner to show their support for the cause. They were also treated to live music of the Gregory Street Blues Band is made up of members with disabilities.


“If people who are neurotypical only think about the differences that people with developmental disabilities have then the only way inclusion happens is kind of in a charitable way, but when we think of people’s skills, their abilities, what makes them able to do stuff that I can’t do, like play great blues music over there, it helps break down those barriers and inclusion happens naturally,” said Stephen Sulkes, professor of pediatrics at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Those who support the campaign would also like to see the R-word removed from medical texts and records.

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