RESPECT Starts with You!

We encourage the promotion of RESPECT, inclusion, acceptance and unity for all students—regardless of disability—and encourage an end to hurtful speech and bullying. It’s easy to promote RESPECT at your school and we’re here to help get you started!


Here’s why YOU should promote RESPECT:

  • Help your school and local community advocate against bullying and hurtful language
  • Raise awareness of the harmful, dehumanizing effects of the R-word
  • Participate in the creation of an environment free of stereotypes, where differences are not only accepted—but celebrated
  • Give students of all abilities an opportunity to be leaders


What is the R-Word?

The R-word is the word 'retard(ed)'. Why does it hurt? The R-word hurts because it is exclusive. It's offensive. It's derogatory.

Our campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people.  Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions.  Pledge today to use respectful, people-first language.

Join thousands of others and make a pledge to help Spread the Word to End the Word with a new "R" word - Respect.  Over 650,000 people have taken the pledge.  You can be next! 

Take the Pledge to Respect


Student Story

Soeren Palumbo was a High School student in Chicago who had a younger sister with intellectual disabilities. He was sick of hearing fellow classmates use the word "retard" or "retarded" throughout the halls. Soeren made a speech about his feelings in front of the entire student body.

news video    Soeren's Story

Eric's Story

Watch Eric's Story


Contact Us

For more information about how to host a RESPECT campaign, please contact us at