'Retard' targeted in online push
Disability advocates have launched a campaign to get people to stop using the word “retard”.
WA Disabilities Minister Stephen Dawson says the word appears constantly on social media, and is used casually and unthinkingly by people every day.
“The R word is insulting and disrespectful — not just to people with disability but also to their families, friends and carers,” he said.
“It's never OK to use the R word — not in humour or frustration.
“People should stop and think about whether they would use the word on someone they love before they direct it towards somebody else.”
The campaign and its associated website is run by not-for-profit disability community group Avivo.
The group has created a Twitter bot to scan for use of the word ‘retard’ or ‘retarded’, and when it finds an instance, replies to that tweet with a video featuring somebody negatively affected by its use.
Opposition Leader Mike Nahan says it is not the government's job to police language.
“Chasing a misuse of a word. Get real,” Mr Nahan said.
“We've seen things like banning plastic bags, a minimum price on alcohol, and now expunging certain words from the English language. Those are not the priorities of government.”