Why your words matter

A man with his hands on his face looking shocked

Some words are unspeakable. So shocking, you wouldn’t dare say them out loud.

A word cloud of different words like Stop, Hello and Eat

The "R" word should be one of them.

A woman listening

But we still hear it.

A young woman pointing to show another woman something

We still see it. 

It's never OK to use that word

In early July 2023, Channel 4 announced that it would be broadcasting a documentary featuring and produced by disabled comedian Rosie Jones that features an ableist slur in its title.  

While the title caused a strong reaction from the disability community , the documentary itself shows Rosie’s own experiences of online ableist abuse and her attempts to get social media companies to take it seriously.  

People with a learning disability have been telling us for decades that the r-word should be taken out of circulation. Despite this, we still hear it and we still see it.  

The "R" word is deeply traumatising to people with a learning disability. It strips away a person’s humanity, and can feel like a physical assault.  

The word should never cross anyone's lips or keyboard.

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Help us make the "R" word #unspeakable

Watch our video, narrated by Mencap Ambassador Tommy Jessop, to help you understand the impact the "R" word has on people with a learning disability.

How to stay safe online

A drawing of a computer on a transparent background

It’s great to talk to friends and family on social media and the internet but it’s also important you know how to safe online.

These Easy Read guides will help.

Learn more about bullying

Visit our Information and Advice pages to learn more about bullying.

Find out more

Where to get help if you need it

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A 'No Bullying' sign with a picture of a woman being bullied by a group of youths

The Anti-Bullying Alliance

Information and advice about online bullying and SEN/disability.

A man talking to a Mencap helpline adviser on the telephone

Mencap's Learning Disability Helpline.

Contact our free helpline for information and advice.

A picture of a woman calling a helpline to talk about someone being bullied

National Bullying Helpline.

Contact their helpline between Monday and Friday.

Your donations help

By giving what you can, you will be helping us to continue to fight for equal rights for people with a learning disability, their families and carers.