IMPACT
03/10/2014 06:58 pm ET Updated Mar 11, 2014

More Than 2,000 Schools Adopt Grassroots Campaign To End The Use Of The 'R-Word'

You've heard it said, you may have spoken the word yourself, but Soeren Palumbo and Timbo Shriver are intent on eradicating it from the English language.

In 2009, the duo launched a campaign called "Spread the Word to End the Word," with the intent of educating others on the use of the derogatory term, "retard." Palumbo and Shriver recently visited HuffPost Live to discuss the success of their grassroots campaign and the traction that it's gained over the past six years -- particularly in high schools and on college campuses.

The two said they have family members and friends with disabilities, and saw firsthand how the word negatively affected their loved ones.

"We grew up with a front-row seat to the pain and anguish that this word causes a lot of people with intellectual disabilities," Palumbo told HuffPost Live host Nancy Redd.

Although more than 2,000 schools across the world have signed on to their initiative, their work is still cut out for them.

"Language is tough to unlearn and language is so important to address," Shriver said. "We see it as the first step in this fight ... to make a change in the way the world not just talks about, but also sees, treats and acts toward people with disabilities."

To watch the full segment, click here.

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