FARMINGTON — Wednesday, March 2, will mark the third annual “Spread the Word to End the Word” day of awareness, a campaign created by supporters, in an effort with Special Olympics and Best Buddies International, to engage schools, organizations and communities by raising the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed)” and encouraging everyone to stop using the R-word.

Supporters are encouraging people to rally and pledge their support at, with the goal of reaching 200,000 pledges.

LEAP Inc. has organized a community gathering from 5 to 6:30 p.m. upstairs at the North Dining Hall in the Student Center at the University of Maine at Farmington, South Street.

Speakers and guests in attendance will be local self-advocates from Speaking Up For Us, Staff members from LEAP, Students from the Rehabilitation, Community Health and other programs at the University of Maine at Farmington, staff from the DHHS Office of Adults with Cognitive and Physical Disabilities, the Disability Rights Center among other supporters and advocates have been invited. Information will be shared on the progress Maine has made, as well as the continued community challenges.

Information will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at LEAP’s central office, 313 Farmington Falls Road. Additional presentation kits are available for other local community groups and schools.

To get involved or to receive more information on Spread the Word to End the Word, visit For more local information, contact Rick Dorian, executive director, LEAP Inc., 778-3443, e-mail [email protected] or visit

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