Mainstream Living

Spread the Word to End the Word

March 7, 2018 is the annual day of awareness for the "Spread the Word to End the Word" Campaign.  This is a national initiative to end the use of the “R” word and to spread awareness of the pain this word can cause for people with intellectual disabilities.  The ACE (Advocacy, Connections, & Empowerment) Program in Ames is heavily involved in the campaign, doing everything from making signs and posters, to advocating at the State Capitol for cultural and systematic changes.  This year Lisa, a member of the ACE Program, has opted to share her thoughts on the issue with staff at Mainstream Living.  Below is her message to staff.

Hi! My name is Lisa and I’m here to tell you the “R” word is bad. When I see or hear that word, it makes me mad. It is not okay to say the “R” word to anyone with or without a disability.  I call on people everywhere to replace the “R” Word with Respect. I feel that my friends, community and I deserve it. We are not so different than you.  We all put our pants on one leg at a time. I live and work in the Ames community.  I pay taxes just like you.  It is not okay to use that word ever. I challenge everyone to take the pledge and follow through with all it stands for. You can do so by going to the web site: Please join my friends and I in taking this pledge to create  change.  

Some advice I have for staff:

  • Nothing about me without me. Please don’t talk about me without involving me in the conversation.

  • Treat me the way you would like to be treated. (Golden Rule)

  • If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.  Your negativity affects me.

  • Please let me show you what I can and cannot do or handle. Don’t put limits on me.  I can do more than you think I can.

  • Be my friend, not my boss/enemy.

  • Remember the only one you can control is yourself, so you do you, and I will do me.

  • Do not disrespect my abilities.

If you’d like to learn more or get involved with the "Spread the Word to End the Word" Campaign, please visit the website


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