DJ Rah C, a young man with autism, hosted the event
Barbara Oswald is the Senior Director of Special Olympics in SC and wants to spread respect
Ridge View High School teacher Brooke Diozi thinks it is important that students with disibilities are treated like everyone else
By: Gabrielle Ehrens
The Special Olympics efforts to end the use of the "R word" came to Columbia yesterday on the steps of the South Carolina State House.
This is the seventh year of the event hosted by DJ Rah C, who has autism. DJ Rah C got 27 different schools through out the state to come together for the special event.
"I really hope everybody walks away with two things. One that they understand the amazing spirits of our athletes and that they go home and accept and respect and include them in their communities. I want them to walk away inspired by the youth leadership. They motivate all of us to be better" says South Carolina Special Olympics Director Barbara Oswald.
Project Unify is a specialized program of The Special Olympics that has 185 schools participating in an effort to break down barriers for students with and without disabilities within the community.
The point of the event it to replace the word "retarded" with the word "respect". Project Unify wants people to know that athletes with disabilities are no different than regular athletes. Many high school teachers, like Brooke Diozi, support the cause.
"I want general education students to be more involved with our kids," says Diozi.