The Coalition Calls for Recognizing the Value of People with Developmental Disabilities
Raleigh, NC -- Last month the Wall Street Journal reported that President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, used the word “retard” during an obscenity laced rebuke of political opponents. The Arc of the United States and Special Olympics strongly criticized the Obama administration for once again failing to recognize the strength of words and their continual impact on people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Historians agree that words have power. Words influence society by creating positive or negative stereotypes. The use of the word “retard”, “cripple”, and other derogatory words continue to not only support but also encourage the entrenchment of negative stereotypes regarding people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in our society, our state, and our communities.
These negative stereotypes are then translated into how we view and understand disability. Disability is natural. It is not abnormal. It is a state of being and if we all live long enough every one of us will experience a disability. The way we think about the disability community effects the policy that is created in our state and nation. Most importantly the policy that is affected by our perception of disability often influences policymakers decisions on how to support this community.
Read more at Carolina Newswire.