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Bulletin Board| Stop the “R” word, Wolfensberger dies

READING THE NEWS in OLD CHINA --  Hats and Hairstyles of All Descriptions
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Bulletin Board

Today and Everyday is “Stop the ‘R’ word” Day.

Parents, Advocates and Schools around the country are joining in.

Many people are always complaining that the world is too complex –there is nothing they can do.

Stop the “R” word Challenge

YOU can make a difference by choosing respectful language in your own conversations. Doable, Yea!

If you have a story, please share it in the comments.

Here are the articles I have posted on this topic as well as some information on Rosa’s Law which was passed last year to take the words “retarded” out of all public documents. This is more than just being politically correct, it is a step toward seeing people with intellectual disabilities as being “human.”

Love-not labels| Rosa’s Law

Retarded No More

The “R” word| A Challenge to Bloggers

Definitions of the word “Retarded”

Building Community| Using People First Language

Wolf Wolfensberger

Father of Normalization and Citizen Advocacy




On February 27, 2011 Wolf Wolfensberger died.

Since 1973, Dr. Wolfensberger had been a professor in the School of Education at Syracuse University. His enormous contributions to the disability community will be felt for generations to come.  
Dr. Wolfensberger was the originator of Social Role Valorization, the Normalization Principle as well as Citizen Advocacy: major concepts that strongly influenced disability policy and practice in the US and Canada.
He was widely recognized as a major contributor to the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities in the 20th century had a reputation for being a stirring and controversial speaker.
He was the author and co-author of more than 40 books and monographs, and more than 250 chapters and articles. His writing has been translated into 11 languages.
His best known books were: Changing Patterns in Residential Services for the Mentally Retarded, The Principle of Normalization, PASS, and PASSING (Evaluation tools for programs to meet the principles of Normalization). 


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5 Responses to “Bulletin Board| Stop the “R” word, Wolfensberger dies”

  • Rachel says:

    No one should be using this word. It is extremely hurtful and offensive. At our school they gave out wristbands for every student who signed the pledge to stop the “R” word.

  • More children will feel accepted and valued because Wolf Wolfensberger lived.

    • Mary E. Ulrich says:

      Oh Bob, what an honor to have to stop by. You’ve gotten some comments (one from Anne Donnellan) about your essay:

      You are right. My friend Debbie Wetzel and I drove to Louisville to hear Wolf give one of his presentations when our kids were just 4 and 5. On the ride home Debbie said, “Well, I’m taking my kid off the shelf in the medicine chest and unwrapping the cotton gauze.” That was the day we decided that even though we couldn’t cure our kids, we COULD give them as normal a life as possible. And, we did. They went to swim and gymnastic lessons and school with their brothers, sisters and neighbors, and camping trips…. Wolf’s concept of “normal” lives made all the difference. He made a difference for all of us.

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