Advocates for people with disabilities want everyone to “end the word.”
Erie County leaders met at the Central Library as part of the national “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign.
They believe the word “retard” or “retarded” to describe someone with a disability is hurtful and destructive.
Its use is waning as people become better educated about ableism.
Frank Cammarata, executive director of the Erie County Office for People with Disabilities, says “Maybe that person has a disability. Maybe they’re a little bit different. Maybe a little bit, but realistically, they’re not. We’re all the same.”
People who went to yesterday’s event signed the “anti-bullying pledge” and promised not to use the word at school.