The Arc of North Dakota is calling out Sen. Kevin Cramer for using the R-word in a tweet Tuesday night. The use of the R-word is hurtful and demeaning to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and used to bully adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Also, being hurtful to family and friends. Cramers's use of the R-word perpetuates the negative stigma about people with disabilities. The history of living with a disability in the United States has largely been one of discrimination, segregation, and exclusion from education, work, housing, and even from routine daily activities.
Fortunately, today people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have the same basic legal, civil and human rights as other citizens. The U.S. Constitution, federal laws, and federal court decisions have established these rights. However, despite the tremendous advances, limitations of laws and regulations, poor enforcement of the laws, limited funding of programs, disregard for binding legal precedent, and societal prejudices keep many people with disabilities from being fully included in our society. There is still a lot of work to do in order to make true community integration and recognition of civil rights a reality for all, including those with the most significant disabilities.
The Arc of North Dakota invites Cramer to visit with people with I/DD to share with him how hurtful using the R-word means to them.
The Arc of North Dakota works to uphold our vision that every person with a disability and family that includes a person with a disability has access to information, supports, and services they need to participate as active members of their community.