(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS), a non-profit support group who helps people with Down Syndrome and their families through leadership in support, outreach, education and advocacy, announced at their 9th Annual Buddy Walk, which took place Saturday, October 4, their Spread the Word to End the R-Word Campaign. LDSS, who represents Bryan, Effingham and Chatham counties, is embracing “Spread the Word to End the Word” and upholding the goal to make the public aware of the negative impact the use of the r-word has on people with special needs and their family members and loved ones.
The campaign was founded by college students, Soeren Palumbo (Notre Dame) and Tim Shriver (Yale) in 2009, and continues to be led by passionate leaders, Special Olympics athletes, and Best Buddies participants across the United States and in other parts of the world.
At the 2014 Buddy Walk, participants were encouraged to sign pledge cards, pledging to not use the r-word. “Words hurt,” says Brian Hussey, founding LDSS Board of Director member and father of 8-year old Sean, who attends Marshpoint Elementary and has Down syndrome. “That word has become commonplace and is used in everyday language. People don’t realize that words can be hurtful.”
Other advocates explain that the r-word is exclusive, ignores individuality, equates intellectual disability with being “dumb or stupid,” spreads hurt, is offensive, incorrect, derogatory, fosters loneliness, and is hate speech.
The website for Spread the Word to End the Word campaign is filled with personal stories, why you should pledge to not use the r-word, lists the effects of the r-word on people with Down syndrome and their families, gives visitors a way to take action on combating the use of the word, and gives other helpful resources. To make a personal pledge not to use the r-word, please visit http://www.r-word.org or contact Brian Hussey with LDSS to sponsor a campaign of your own at email@example.com
ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a non-profit support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership in support, outreach, education and advocacy. Meetings are held every 4th Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. We encourage people to bring their children. We are an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. http://www.ldssga.org/
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