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Kennedy in Support of "Spread the Word to End the ‘R' Word Day"

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Location: Washington, DC


KENNEDY IN SUPPORT OF "SPREAD THE WORD TO END THE ‘R' WORD DAY"

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, today released the following statement in response to Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry's proclamation of March 31st, 2009 as "Spread the Word to End the ‘R' Word Day."

"Spread the Word to End the ‘R' Word Day" is a day meant to spread awareness about how hurtful using the word ‘retarded' can be to others. This day brings awareness that using the words "retard" or "retarded" to mean something "less-than" is hurtful and offensive.

"I strongly support Governor Henry's proclamation making today "Spread the Word to End the ‘R' Word Day." By participating in this effort to end the ‘R' word, we are setting an example for the nation's youth and helping to reduce an unacceptable form of discrimination in our communities. Using the word ‘retard' or ‘retarded' unfairly stigmatizes the large number of individuals with physical or mental disabilities in our society, and sends the unacceptable message that they're second class citizens. I commend the Governor for raising this troubling issue. Disabled does not mean unable."


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