Almost half a million people have signed an online pledge to stop using the R-word. It's part of a growing campaign to raise awareness about hurtful effects of using the word to refer to people with intellectual disabilities.
In 2008, Special Olympics launched the R-word website. In 2009, the "Spread the word to end the word" campaign launched with rallies in schools across the country. Now, March 3rd has been named an annual day of awareness.
It's an effort to combat what organizers call "the inappropriate use of the R-word in common usage". More than 451,000 people have signed an online pledge to eliminate the demeaning word from their language.
The movement points to Rosa's Law as a sign of progress. As a result of that law, federal agencies dropped the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" in federal health, education, and labor laws and replaced them with "intellectual disability".