SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.orgSpread the Word to End the Word Spread the Word to End the Word2015 Info Packet1 Special Olympics Wisconsin

Spread the Word to End the Word Greetings,Respectful and inclusive language is essential to the movement for the dignity and humanity ofpeople with intellectual disabilities. Therefore Special Olympics continues to raise awareness aboutthe harmful and hurtful effects of the R-word “retard or retarded” through the help of people likeyou! We invite you to be a part of this movement this year by hosting a 2015 Spread the Word toEnd the Word campaign!This packet includes general information about the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign, ato-do list to help you get started, event ideas, examples of past campaigns, a list of talking points,and a commitment form to be filled out and returned. While many of the events are centered inMarch, your campaign can help spread the word through your community and schools year-round.For schools, the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign is a great way for students with andwithout disabilities to make a difference in their schools and communities while learning about eachothers unique abilities. It is also part of a larger program called Project UNIFY , which aims to buildschools of inclusion and respect through Youth Leadership, Unified Sports and Recreation, andSchool-wide Engagement. If you would like to learn more about Project UNIFY, please .For businesses, the Spread the Word the End the Word campaign is a great way to show yoursupport of people of intellectual disabilities, encourage a positive work environment for all, andcreate a more inclusive community!Please feel free to contact me with any questions or to discuss any ideas you have.Thank you for helping us spread RESPECT!Kind regards,Krysten KirschDirector of Youth Initiatives .Special Olympics Wisconsin, Inc.10224 N. Port Washington Rd.Mequon, WI, 53092Tel (262) 241-7786, ext. 13Fax (262) 241-5334Email .www.SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.org2 Special Olympics Wisconsin

Spread the Word to End the Word Spread the Word to End the Word is an effort to raisethe consciousness of society about the dehumanizing andhurtful effects of the word “retard(ed)” and encouragepeople to pledge to stop using the R-word.BackgroundOver the years, the R-word has become a common taunt used to make fun of others. Oftenunwittingly, the word is used to denote behavior that is clumsy, hapless, and even hopeless. Butwhether intentional or not, the word conjures up a painful stereotype of people with intellectualdisabilities.Realizing respectful and inclusive language is essential to the movement for the dignity and humanityof people with intellectual disabilities, the effort is spearheaded by college students, Soeren Palumbo(Notre Dame, 2011) and Tim Shriver (Yale, 2011), and led by young people, Special Olympics athletes,and Best Buddies participants across the country.ActionWhile most of the activities are centered annually in March, people everywhere can help spread theword throughout their communities and schools all year-round. We’re asking every person, young andold, to help eliminate the demeaning use of the R-word. You can help us change the conversation andcreate a more accepting world for people with intellectual anddevelopmental disabilities and all those people that may appear different,but who have unique gifts and talents to share with the world.Take the pledge at and help youth around the worldencourage others to think before they speak.3 Special Olympics Wisconsin

Spread the Word to End the Word To-Do ListHow to get started on your campaign1. Find a group of friends, classmates, teammates, or club members who want to start thecampaign with you.2. Ask a teacher, administrator, or staff member to be an advisor for your project.3. Brainstorm ideas for what you want your campaign to look like.4. Fill out your commitment form and send it in.5. Receive your campaign kit* and get started!*Your campaign kit will include thefollowing: wristbands, mechanical pencils,window clings,, T-shirts, a T-shirt order formand additional information on how to getinvolved with Special Olympics in yourcommunity.Wisconsin CampaignsThere are many different ways to conduct a Spread the Word to End the Word campaign. It can be assimple or as elaborate as you would like it to be. Here are just a few examples of some campaigns thathave taken place in Wisconsin: Hold an informational table or booth (at lunch, school sporting event, in a classroom, etc.)Wear Spread the Word to End the Word shirts for a day; it’s a good conversation starterHave a pledge drive (during lunch, sporting event, in aclassroom, etc.)Invite a local Special Olympics athlete or Best BuddiesAmbassador to come and speak at an assemblyCreate a video and show it on your school’s televisionchannel, or in a classroomHost a sporting event with your schools’ studentscompeting against a Special Olympics teamPaint a Respect mural on a school wallMake an interactive game like “Strike out the R-word” with bowling pins4 Special Olympics Wisconsin

Spread the Word to End the Word Event IdeasSpread the Word to End the Word relies on grass-roots activities to garner the majority of thecampaign’s impact. Here are ideas on how you can participate locally in the campaign. Hold a local pledge event at school or in your community. Set up a laptop to encourage peopleto sign the pledge page on the spot and/or create a banner for people to signon the spot.Invite local Special Olympics athlete Global Messengers to speak at an assembly, we can helpcoordinate one if you need assistance.Work with local sports teams or school teams to participate in a halftime event to promoteSpread the Word to End the Word.Spread the word:o Hang posterso Send e-mailso Text / call your family and friendso Create your own Spread the Word to End the Word youth rallyo Use your social networks on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Linked Ino Join Spread the Word to End the Word social networking pages (i.e, Facebook, Twitter)o Send an e-vite to friends to take the pledge and spread the wordUse the new R-word counter to see how many times your favorite website uses the R-wordand then send the link to your friends – http://www.rwordcounter.orgPrint and distribute leaflets throughout your community.Notify the press. Call local radio shows and write letters to the editor of your local newspaper.Post a comment to an online social message board sharing your thoughts about the R-wordand its abuse in our society.Post your event’s time and location in the community events section of your hometownnewspaper or in your school newspaper or website.Set up a booth at events or conferences.Contact your local Special Olympics or Best Buddies office to learn how to get involved inSpread the Word to End the Word events in your community.o Special Olympics Wisconsin website: www.specialolympicswisconsin.orgo Best Buddies Wisconsin website: www.bestbuddieswisconsin.orgGet teams together to participate in the Polar Plunge . See which team can raise the mostSupport and compete in the Polar Plunge Video Contest!Host a Unified Sports scrimmage with your high school sports team and your local SpecialOlympics team.Take it to the next level with Project UNIFY Need more ideas? Go to and click on resources to find letter templates, fact sheets,and more.5 Special Olympics Wisconsin

Spread the Word to End the Word Key Messages and Talking PointsIt is time we Spread the Word to End the Word and build awareness for society to stop and think aboutits’ use of the R-word. The R-word is something hurtful and painful – “retard” or “retarded.” Mostpeople don’t think of this word as hate speech, but that’s exactly what it feels like to millions of peoplewith intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and friends. This word is just as cruel andoffensive as any other slur. Visit to make your pledge today. Young people around the world are taking a stand and raising awareness of the dehumanizingand hurtful effects of the words “retard” or “retarded” and are helping encourage others tothink before they speak.Up to three percent of the world’s population have intellectual disabilities - that’s 200 millionpeople around the world. It’s the largest disability population in the world, perhaps you knowsomeone?We ask that you help us change the conversation and help eliminate the demeaning use of theR-word from today’s popular youth vernacular and replace it with “respect.” We are asking foryour help in creating a more accepting world for people with intellectual and developmentaldisabilities and all those people that may appear different, but have unique gifts and talents toshare with the world.We’re asking every person – young and old – to help eliminate the demeaning use of the Rword–a common taunt used to make fun of others. Often unwittingly, the word is used todenote behavior that is clumsy, hapless, and even hopeless. But whether intentional or not,the word conjures up a painful stereotype of people with intellectual and developmentaldisabilities. It hurts. Even if you don’t mean it that way.People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are capable and enjoy sharing lifeexperiences – listening to music, playing video games, watching the latest movies, and yes,having fun – as well as working together toward athletic excellence and mutually enrichingone-to-one friendships as demonstrated constantly through Special Olympics and BestBuddies International. They can attend school, work, drive cars, get married, and participate indecisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many ways.Special Olympics’ Multi-National Public Opinion Study of Attitudes toward People withIntellectual Disabilities, conducted by Gallup, reveals that throughout the world, over 60percent of people still believe that people with intellectual disabilities should be segregated inschools and in the workplace. This is intolerable. We need massive attitude change now toattack and reverse the stigma that is destructive to the lives of people with intellectualdisabilities and a barrier to growth.Did you know that by casually using the word “retard(ed)” to refer to an action as less thanideal you are making someone with an intellectual disability feel less than human - whetheryou mean to or not? Demeaning any of our fellow human beings by using inappropriate wordstoward any population negatively impacts all of us.6 Special Olympics Wisconsin

Spread the Word to End the Word 2015 Campaign Kit Items7 Special Olympics Wisconsin

Spread the Word to End the Word Commitment FormThis form must be completed and returned before any campaign kit items will be sent.School/Business Name:School/Business Mailing Address:Lead Adult Name:Lead Adult Contact Number: E-mail:Club/Group Affiliation:Lead Student Name:When do you plan to kick-off your campaign? (approx. date):Please describe the plan for your campaign:If you are planning on an assembly, do you need assistance scheduling a speaker? YESSizes of 2 included shirts (adult S-XL):Wristbands needed? (Max. 50)Mechanical Pencils needed? (Max. 50)Window Clings needed? (Max. 20)NOPlease check your t-shirt design preference: Tie-Dye Green w/ Disable the Label Design Graphite Heather w/ Traditional DesignI pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promotethe acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. I will use the items provided by SOWIsolely for this campaign by freely passing along the items to those who also pledge to end the R-word.Campaign Lead’s signature:Please send completed form to:Special Olympics WisconsinAttn: Krysten Kirsch10224 N. Port Washington Rd.Mequon, WI [email protected] or [email protected] Special Olympics Wisconsin