Discussing Disabilities - Removing the "R" word

Discussing Disabilities - Removing the "R" word

Let's make a conscious effort and  focus on making East Haven the very best it can be for all residents disabled and non disabled and truly be the shining light of the shoreline and focus on the positive within our neighbors and not that which others perceive to be shortcomings.

Hopefully upon finishing the reading of this blog readers who use the "R" word as part of their daily everyday language will remove the "R" word from your vocabulary as it pertains to our fellow East Haven Residents and Americans.

Under the Americans with Disability Act and it's recent Amendments the definition of someone having an Impairment is clearly stated as follows: Definition: Impairment(1) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more body systems, such as neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, immune, circulatory, hemic, lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or(2) Any mental or psychological disorder, such as an intellectual disability (formerly termed "mental retardation"), organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

Yet,..I have heard and seen even here on the Patch where many residents  continue to use the word "Retarded" when referring to someone,..The "R" word is a cold,insensitive word that many feel ranks right alongside referring to someone by using the "N" word.

What's more shocking is I have heard educators in the East Haven School system use the "R" word and use such as excuses as there is a "Department of mental Retardation" there is also a "United Negro Fund" but to refer to a person or persons in this day and age by using either the "N" word or the "R" word is cruel and uncalled for.

I am of the firm belief and the ADA and ADAA make it perfectly clear that the "R" word is not acceptable when referring to our fellow residents who may have an Intellectual Disability.

Facing life with a disability of any form is challenging enough we do not need to make it any harder on our fellow residents.

I am asking all who may read this to please be considerate and respectful of those with Intellectual Disabilities and remove the "R" word from your Vocabularies when referring to our fellow residents.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

ASmirth October 23, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I finds that Mr. Hoff has been removen da "R" word from everything xcept his blogs. Republican this and Republican that.......He knows that "R" word real well.
Richard Poulton October 23, 2012 at 05:29 PM
See Bob, its writings such as this that get you in trouble with readers who then post negative comments towards you. Yes, there are all sorts of words in the english language that we should reframe from using. So what? I checked the blue pages of the AT&T telephone book, and the term Dept of Mental Retardation is no longer used. It is now refered to as the Dept. of Developmental Services. If people still wish to call it as it was known before, so what. But you should know that under that state division is the DMR (Department of Mental Retardation) Operated Residential Program. So, that phrase is still being used. Maybe you should get the state to change their ways as well. You take your personal issues way to far. I have a nephew who is serverly "retarded", and living in a "SARA" facility. Thats the term they still use. And you wonder why people comment the way they do.
Richard, If all you see when you interact with your nephew is his intellectual disability and you fail to see past his disability and accept him for who he is then the loss is yours.
Richard Poulton October 23, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Sorry Bob, but he wouldn't recognize me nor anyone else for that matter. The problem is Bob it is you that has the problem with the rest of the world and how they interact with people with a disability. People feel the way they do about others and in no way will you or anyone else change that, its human nature. You should really try another topic of interest, maybe people will interact better with you.
Debra Giordano October 23, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Robert I totally agree with you. I am the mom of 2 special needs boys and I hate the "R" word whether it is used in town or anywhere. I have even asked people to think about it and to not use the word, especially in front of my family. Unfortunately there are a lot of people that simply do not understand, and probably never will, how horrible and demeaning this word is. Thank you for all that you do in getting the word out about how wonderful all people are!!!!
Richard Poulton October 23, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Bob I have a great suggestion for you. Contact Senator Fasano and or Rep. Albis and have them submitt a piece of legislation calling for an admendment to CGS 53a-181, J thru L. This is the statute that criminalizes Bigotry. Have the definition to include the phrase "and all persons with impairments as defined within the ADA act". This way if someone uses the R word in a demeaning manner, or in anyway uses any form of intimidation towards someone so identified, it becomes a criminal matter. How's that. Senator Fasano is awaiting your call.
Jacobo Arnez October 23, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Whatever word is used........your still a brain damaged pain in the "you know where".
Richard, Not that long ago people used to use many of the same lines you are using above when it came to dealing with people of color however,thanks to the work of many along the way who contributed their time and efforts such as DR Martin Luther King,Rosa Parks and many others today we are fortunate to have a bi-cultural President. Who would have thought looking back at history that the day would come but thanks to the work of many who were involved in the Civil Rights movement we have overcome many of the negativity of the past and moved toward a positive future. The Disability Movement is a Civil rights issue and who knows maybe with enough positive energy channeled in the right direction stereotypes aimed at people with disabilites will begin to be eroded and the disabled will have a brighter future. I have committed myself to helping others with disabilites because I believe that a brighter future is possible and that predjudice is not human nature but a learned behavior and therfore can be replace with understanding and compassion if people are willing to remain dedicated and committed to transforming the world around us into a better world for all.
Richard Poulton October 23, 2012 at 06:55 PM
I am not knocking your motives Robert, its your constent bombardment of the same stories over & over. If its not something about your "problems", its your continual writings of your distain towards people in the political arena with the other R word, its your stories of mis-truths and one sided editorals. You attack people like Sen. Fasano for no other reason other then its an election year. Yes you are correct, society should change some of its ways, but you will only turn people off in the way you go about it. I know you mean well, its just your avenue of approach that turns people off towards you. Now I just know that this article about the "R" word will show up next Wednesday or the one after that in the weekly paper we all get.
Probably next week Richard. I believe that issues like this need to be discussed in order to bring about change and create a better world for Debra Giordano's two sons and others living in town with disabilites and since the Patch has a limited readership and the free paper goes into almost every home in East Haven it will reach more people and help to get people thinking about the important issues that effect residents with disabilites and therefore will hopefully help to bring a more positive world that is more accepting of residents with disabilites that much sooner. If you do not wish to view the letter in the paper simply turn the page.
Richard Poulton October 23, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Over and over and over and over again. You stories are getting redundent and boring.
Richard Poulton October 25, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Just wondering why this blog is back on the "front page" again. It disappeared for a few days, now back. Is this because it's a slow news day or put back up for a reason? Just curious.
Anthony M October 25, 2012 at 03:58 PM
this is retarded
Jacobo Arnez October 25, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Mr. Poulton, it's just Mr. Hoff trying to {{SHAKE}} things up.
Jacobo Arnez October 25, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I'm sorry he used the "R" word .....Mr. obert Hoff.
Richard Poulton October 25, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I wasn't aware that an old blog could be re-started. If thats the case why doesn't he re-due his blog on Fasano failing to take that political test, in which he claims Fasano refused to take, but failed to write in the blog that no other elected official in Hartford took it either. Or why not re-due his blog on how he felt threatened by Sen. Fasano. Just wondering thats all. He is interesting though.
Richard, Thank you for stating that you find me "He is interesting though". I appreciatte it however,I must admit I had nothing to do with the restarting of the blog it was an editorial decision made by the Patch Editors.
Richard Poulton October 25, 2012 at 07:21 PM
No problem Bob.
Richard, I think that being the case you'll be intereste in knowing that Senator Fasano: Voted to cut Children's health care and aid for Seniors as well as voted to allow insurance companies to drop health insurance coverage for everything from Autisim Treatments to breast cancer screenings.


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