The Mason LIFE Program is an innovative post-secondary program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who desire a university experience in a supportive academic environment.
For this video External Link to For this video (New Window), Mason LIFE students came together to Spread the Word to End the Word as part of a larger R-word campaign supported by Special Olympics, Best Buddies, and over 200 other organizations around the world. The annual day of awareness, this year on March 5, 2014, shows how the word “retarded” is no longer just used as a medical term to describe people with intellectual and physical disabilities; it has turned into a word used carelessly as a synonym for dumb, silly, stupid, and other hurtful terms.
The video and campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people. Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions. You can pledge today External Link to pledge today (New Window) to use respectful, people-first language.
The Mason LIFE program is supported by the Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities within the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. The college embraces the principles of equity and access to all opportunities in society by increasing student diversity and accommodations for people with disabilities. In addition, the program provides George Mason University students majoring in therapeutic recreation, education, psychology, assistive technology, social work, and other human service studies with hand-on experience and training.