Today is Spread the Word Day -- the word being inclusion. It’s a rebranding of sorts of a decade-old campaign called Spread the Word to End the Word -- the word that campaign sought to end is the word 'retarded' that has been used historically in this country as a derogatory way to refer to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The new Spread the Word Day is all about promoting efforts to create and nurture inclusion for people with disabilities in all aspects of our lives. The Spread the Word campaign’s website says it's: “Expanding our focus beyond the R-word will issue a welcomed challenge to all of us to create the connections we see missing and to replace the fear of difference we see around us with an embrace of inclusion.”
Joining us today to talk about efforts to expand inclusion are two women who work everyday to do just that: Karen Govern is Executive Director of the STARability Foundation in Naples; and Melanie Musick is the area director for Best Buddies, it’s an international nonprofit dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities all around the world.