Dear Walmart...

special needs parenting the special needs mom Dec 18, 2019

Dear Walmart…

Dear Walmart,
Six years ago, my family was forever changed by the birth of my son Joey. He is sweet and funny and has a smile that lights up a room. People are drawn to his amazing personality, his adorable face, and his ornery sense of humor. He also happens to have Down syndrome.

Every year at our local Buddy Walk (a national walk to celebrate and support people with Down syndrome), the path is lined with hundreds of Walmart employees. These caring folks come to cheer us on, encourage us, and give high fives and hugs to my son and his many buddies who rock an extra chromosome. Seeing the generosity of spirit and the kindness of these Walmart employees year after year has given me a much more positive outlook on your company.

That is why I am especially saddened and confused by your decision to carry this product touting the phrase “Got retard?” on your website. The word retard is derogatory and hurtful to people with disabilities, implying that they are worthless, a punchline.

I respectfully urge you to reconsider your policy on products like this one. Please stand with us in raising awareness and support for my son and people of all abilities.

Thank you,
Katy Epling

PS For more information on talking about disabilities in a helpful way, please check out this article.

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