Hope students from Ready for Life released a new video as part of the national “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign, and it’s gaining attention.

Ready for Life provides post-secondary educational experiences on campus for college-age individuals experiencing cognitive, learning or social disabilities. The video, posted below, features individuals with special needs speaking firsthand about their experiences—who they are, what they’re interested in and how the R-word makes them feel.


The video was featured in a news story by Wood TV 8.

Special Olympics launched the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign in 2008, with the first Wednesday of every March identified as a day of awareness. According to the campaign:

Use of that R-word, ‘retard’ or ‘retarded,’ is hurtful and painful and, whether intended or not, is a form of bullying. Most people don’t think of this word as hate speech, but that’s exactly what it feels like to millions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and friends.


At Hope College, Ready for Life participants build a student-centered learning plan to develop realistic learning objectives and identify areas of natural talent to be further developed. Based on the student’s interests and abilities, non-credit bearing classes are then specially selected for the students to attend. Ready for Life curriculum that focuses on transition skills to help students gain independence and job skills supplements these college classes.

Sign the pledge and learn more at r-word.org.