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Be a Fan of Special Olympics Georgia athletes and join the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign
Date:3/30/2009

ATLANTA, March 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Special Olympics Georgia announced a new youth-lead effort - Spread the Word to End the Word - 3.31.09, encouraging people to pledge to stop using the derogatory word "retard."

Tuesday, March 31 will be devoted to educating and raising awareness about individuals with intellectual disabilities and the offensive use of the "R-word" in casual conversation all across the country. Spread the Word to End the Word is a collaborative promotion engaging Special Olympics leaders, celebrities, opinion leaders and the media.

In Georgia, radio ads discouraging the use of the "R-word" featuring Atlanta Hawks forward Marvin Williams have played on stations in metro Atlanta throughout the year leading up to today. Williams has also appeared in print ads and in radio interviews saying "I don't use the R-word." In addition, Facebook users are encouraged to update their status to "I don't use the R-word. Visit www.r-word.org."

Actor John C. McGinley, who plays Dr. Cox on the television show "Scrubs," and Ambassador of the National Down Syndrome Society, pledged his support for Spread the Word to End the Word after meeting with more than 130 young adults during a Special Olympics Global Youth Activation Summit in February held in conjunction with the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

"Most people don't think of this word as the language of hate, but that's exactly what it feels like to millions of people with intellectual disabilities, their families and friends," said McGinley, who has a son, Max, with Down Syndrome. McGinley has also appeared on The Bonnie Hunt Show and TV Guide Network promoting this endeavor.

McGinley added, "I choose to believe that most of us are fundamentally good and that we're just not aware that the word is offensive and t
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SOURCE Special Olympics Georgia
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