So…The R-Word Is Getting Some Press (No, Not THAT R-Word…)

2013/288 - Geaux Saints

There’s something very wrong with a society that obsesses over the nickname of a professional football franchise but sees nothing wrong with the everyday use of the word “retard.” Since the new NFL season started, I’ve seen lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth over whether the Washington Redskins should change their name. Neil Irwin […]

Five Words I Hate and Why


1. Disabled I don’t hate the word disability, but I despise the word disabled – especially when I see it in a headline like this one, or worse, this one. “The disabled” is a lazy way of grouping people with a loose – very loose! – commonality. Sometimes it’s to elicit a sympathetic response, but that […]

On Language, Racism, and Peanut Butter Sandwiches


The Portland Tribune published an article last week titled, “School beats the drum for equity“, which itself became the subject of an article, “Is Peanut Butter and Jelly Racist?“, published in several news outlets (I found it via The Huffington Post). The gist of the original piece is that a K-8 principal in the Portland […]

Equal Rights For Me, But Not For Thee?

I’ll be honest. Until a few days ago, I had no idea who Margaret Cho was. But when Twitter lit up about her making an “I don’t want a retard” comment, the star of Drop Dead Diva and Dancing With the Stars appeared on my radar screen. While discussing her prospects for motherhood on Watch […]

Spread the Word to End the Word

R-word, Spread-the-word-to-end-the-word

Sure, the R-word is offensive. It’s hurtful to individuals with intellectual disabilities, their families, and friends. That’s reason enough not to say it. But never mind that it’s offensive. Put aside that it’s hurtful. The real reason not to use the R-word is because it devalues people, not because of their actions, but because of […]

A Special Needs Mom’s Heartache: Not What You Expect

2012/60 - Ten Free Minutes

I know that when some people look at my family, they see heartache. They see struggles. They think to themselves, “Thank goodness that’s not me.” They imagine that my life is difficult, that I am sad most of the time, and that I want to escape from the hell that I’m living in because I […]

The Power of Language


African-American. Gay and lesbian. Disabled person. What do you think of when you see these phrases? Nigger. Faggot. How do you feel when you hear or see these words? Retard. How is this word different from the previous two? Why do many in today’s society think it’s fine to use the words retard or retarded, […]

Andi Speaks….Again


As I mentioned in last Friday’s 7 Quick Takes, today I was scheduled for two speaking engagements. The first was at a metro-Atlanta area Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meeting; the second was the first installment of a series on diversity sponsored by Georgia Highlands College. I’ll post more later on my whirlwind speaking tour but […]

Still Think the R-word Isn’t Hurtful?


Witness the power of a sister’s love. Warning: you’ll need a tissue. Thanks to Anna of The Chronicles of Ellie Bellie Bear for sharing.

One Week Later: What My “Cowards” Post Was About (And What It Wasn’t)

Stop Disability Slurs, r-word

Last Wednesday, I experienced first hand what “going viral” really means. Cowards: “The Change-Up” and Disability Slurs was picked up by and subsequently exploded. My email was pinging like mad with notifications of comments, new Twitter followers, and new Facebook likes. Welcome, new followers! Most of the comments were supportive, and I am grateful. […]