Kelowna not-for-profit calls for stop of R-word use

motionball’s annual #NoGoodWay movement comes to City Park March 27

Photo: contributed

A call on all Canadians to stop using the R-word or “retarded”, comes to Kelowna Wednesday.

A popular Kelowna not-for-profit group, motionball, hosts its annual event at City Park in support of Special Olympic athletes as part of its #NoGoodWay campaign, to end the use of R-word after a new study shows that half of Canadians use the word regularly.

“Historically the R-word has been used to belittle those living with an intellectual disability, so it was jarring to learn that 48 percent of Canadians still use or hear it weekly. But we also learned that most Canadians are willing to change that — and that is powerful,” said Mike Mills, motionball board member.

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This year’s movement will launch with a series of online videos driven by the results of the study that surveyed Canadians about their use of and feelings toward the R-word. The national R-word study surveyed 1,555 Canadians and revealed that:

  • 68 per cent of Canadians wouldn’t hire a job candidate if they used the word “retarded” in an interview.
  • 64 per cent of Canadians would be embarrassed if their partner used the R-word in front of their parents.
  • 50 per cent of Canadians wouldn’t go on a second date with someone who used the R-word.
  • 48 per cent of Canadians believe that it is never acceptable to use the R-word.
  • 40 per cent of Canadians wouldn’t have sex with a partner if they used the R-word.

The study also showed that 86 percent of Canadians are open to changing the words they use if they are offensive to others, while 25 percent said they use the term “retarded” casually because it’s not a big deal.

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