Over the last 10 years, ideas that originated with a group of Global Youth activists from the Special Olympics have been gathering momentum. What began as a vision of raising awareness about a single word (the R-word) and the negative impact it has on those with intellectual and development disabilities, has grown into a global campaign that now focuses on not just the eradication of that hateful word, but also on actions that promote inclusion for all.
Since 2009, millions of people around the world have pledged to help Spread the Word to End the Word. What started with a grassroots team organizing a handful of events now represents a movement adopted by national governments, businesses, schools and communities across the world. In 2019, Spread the Word to End the Word became Spread the Word, with a focus not just on the elimination of a word but on the creation of a new reality: inclusion for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
At Brightspot, we are proud to have a champion of the movement within our own workforce: Rose Pleskow, a Brightspot employee, Special Olympics athlete, Global Messenger and Torch Run Executive Council Member. Rose drives awareness at Brightspot via dedicated Spread the Word events every March. What’s more, Rose has been pivotal in bringing a culture of inclusion to the forefront of life at Brightspot.
As the Spread the Word campaign has grown, Brightspot has always been eager to lend a hand, helping to develop an online home for the movement, with digital pledging and resources for those looking to get involved. The latest site, www.spreadtheword.global is a relaunch of the original Spread the Word to End the Word campaign site, expanding the group’s mission to include a social action plan for inclusion.
“What you call people is how your treat people.”— Special Olympics (@SpecialOlympics) March 6, 2019
In 2010, these words inspired “Rosa’s Law” which removed “mental retardation” from US law, helping end the use of the #Rword in everyday speech. On today's Game Changers, we @PledgetoInclude ➡ https://t.co/nbC54Z5eqp. pic.twitter.com/gUP7tgkIe5
Giving Back Is Mission Critical
In keeping with our core mission to give back to our community, Brightspot is proud to have developed a deep-rooted partnership with Special Olympics International. For more than a decade, we’ve helped Special Olympics build their growing online experience. Beginning with the launch of microsites such as A Very Special Christmas and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver tribute site, the team at Brightspot has helped deliver a technical infrastructure to support a nonprofit organization that requires an adaptable technical solution for delivering web-based messaging for their global events.
For years, we’ve provided support for branding, design and content development via our next-gen CMS. In addition to offering technical and editorial support, Brightspot has had the opportunity to participate as volunteers at the last four Special Olympics games. This weekend, a group of 11 employees will travel to Abu Dhabi, where they will help run the Unified Sports events for the games.
We’re honored to continue our relationship with Special Olympics as they take a bold step into the biggest world games yet—and expand their commitment to spreading the word of inclusion across the world.