The end of the R word in Israel
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Lin Kornhauser (right) celebrates her medal win at the World Summer Games in Athens 2011. This image won first prize in a Sport & Peace Photographic Competition
Following years of lobbying by Special Olympics Israel the term ‘people with intellectual disabilities’ has finally replaced the term ‘people with retardation’ in Israel. The R word will no longer be acceptable or tolerated in Israel when talking about people with intellectual disabilities. Making the significant announcement this week, the Minister for Welfare Moshe Kahlon said the change in language was long overdue and reflects what should be paramount for all people with intellectual disabilities – respect and dignity. He thanked Special Olympics Israel for never giving up on this issue and he was proud to officially announce the language change.
Lin Kornhauser from Raanana is an athlete with Special Olympics Israel and has won several medals for her country at world and national Games. Her mother Tali was one of those people campaigning for the term change. “My daughter is not retarded, she has achieved more than most and I am delighted the Minister has made this announcement. It is hugely important to people with intellectual disabilities and their families."
The effects of the R-word on people with ID and their families and friends
How "retardation" went from a clinical description to a word of derision