How Do You Feel When Someone Uses the R-Word?

Chances are you’ve heard someone use the r-word. Whether it was a just a joke or an intentional insult, it’s never OK to use the word. While medical professionals used to use mental retardation as a diagnosis, it’s now outdated and the correct term is people with intellectual disabilities. Still, many people don’t understand the damaging effects of using the r-word.

We polled our Facebook fans to see how they feel when someone uses the r-word, and this is what they said:

Mad. The r-word has no place in society…jokingly or not.

Very sad.

Deeply offended and upset.

I work in education and still hear educated people use the word. It infuriates me.

Pissed, irritated, mad. I just share my head because some people are not educated enough to know times have changed and that reference is not used nor shouldn’t be used anymore.

Makes me angry on behalf of my brother and his friends. They all have different abilities, and the casual use of the word belittles all of their accomplishments.


Sad for people who have never experienced the joy of knowing someone with an intellectual disability.

Blow to my solar plexus. Hard. I hate it.

I feel like I have been punched in the gut. It does not matter that I do not have an intellectual disability, I have a physical disability and it still hurts. We need respect. Everyone has feelings. The disabled are no different.

Makes me want to educate them towards knowledge. I feel sorry for any person that uses any name to categorize people. I feel people who use the r-word are just waiting for someone to call them out on it and show them how it’s not right.

Sad, frustrated and offended.

It offends me and I think less of the person who uses the word.

National Spread the Word to End the Word Day is March 5. If you’d like to pledge to end the r-word, please click here. To see what you can do at your school to promote acceptance and ending the r-word, please click here. To share your pledge to end the r-word on your social media channels, please click here.


One thought on “How Do You Feel When Someone Uses the R-Word?

  1. Pingback: Five Easy Things You Can Do to End the R-Word | Our Unified Schools

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