In the last two years there were 124,000 disability hate crimes. Only 3% of these were recorded by the police and only 1% resulted in prosecution. For Anti bullying week I want to talk about the words that I find offensive.

If you were to call people names just because of their disability this is a hate crime. So with this in mind I’ll give you fair warning: the next time I hear someone describe something annoying, upsetting, or otherwise negative as a ‘retard’ or ‘retarded’, I’m going to lose my shizz.

The terms ‘retarded’ and ‘spaz’ along with others are unacceptable and should never ever be used. They are hurtful and a form of bullying and discrimination. Yet for some reason these awful words keep popping up in people’s daily dialogue as a substitute for ‘pathetic’, ‘weak’, or ‘stupid’. Oh how I wish the world would understand people with a learning disability, it’s not rocket science!

Discrimination against anyone is wrong. This has been happening for a long time but with help, support and understanding it can and will improve. People with disabilities are the same as everyone else, we face challenges such as; prejudice from other people in society, also a lack of understanding which affects important things like healthcare, education and heaps more! The lack of inclusion is unbelievable.

It hurts me deeply that people think and say these words without thinking twice about how offensive they are!

My perspective on this is that no one should be belittling anyone with hurtful words. It’s time to change, time to take action, time to stop the hatred.

My biggest fear is that as much as we fight and we all do fight it can feel like a losing battle for so any people with learning disabilities. But I hope that the positive dialog keeps going. We need it so badly.

So listen up folks! Hear my voice and listen to the boss! People with a learning disability can live a normal active life just like anyone else. The R-word is on the top of my list of junk words. I correct everyone and anyone that uses this word. Its use is completely unnecessary and the more we fight the sooner it will become obsolete. 

But all hope is not lost for the future. You’ll be amazed when you see the skills and courage that people with a learning disability have to offer. 

Everyone’s important, everyone’s special.

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