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Best Buddies chapter embraces national “R-Word” Campaign

(March 31, 2014) –Carson-Newman University’s Best Buddies program is seeking to change the way individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are perceived by the public. The chapter is participating in a national “R- Word Campaign,” which is pursuing an end to the word “retarded” being used as a derogatory statement to describe an individual.

“The use of the word “retarded” has transformed itself in today’s society as being a slang word that describes someone as being dumb or having made a mistake,” said Katie Moore, a Carson-Newman sophomore and secretary for C-N’s Best Buddies program. “When this word is used it gives individuals with disabilities a negative stereotype of being dumb and without value, which is not the case at all.”

Katie’s brother, Matthew Moore, an individual with Down Syndrome, recently spoke at an “R-Word” event on campus. He shared what the Best Buddies program has meant to him.

“Best Buddies is a world-wide organization that pairs people who have special needs with a friend, because everyone deserves to have a friend,” said Matthew, an intern at the Best Buddies Tennessee office in Nashville.

To encourage others to join in the campaign effort, Carson-Newman’s Best Buddies chapter will hold a Buddies Walk on Saturday, April 12, beginning at the Maddox Student Activities Center on campus. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and is $10 for students and $12 for adults. Those with intellectual or physical disabilities will receive free admission.

For more information about Carson-Newman University’s Best Buddies program or walk, call 423-863-2911 or email: kbwilliams@cn.edu

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