Learn to see with your heart. It’s a better view.

Health stigma hurts. Every day, millions of men, women and children feel its impact. Those living with a health condition or disability cope daily with the challenge and hardship it imposes. And all too often, they face an added burden: people who can’t see past the health condition.

We stigmatize those with a health condition or disability when we look away or awkwardly stare, when we make well-intentioned but inappropriate comments, or when we simply retreat from an uncomfortable encounter. Stigma is communicated in dozens of different ways, all of them saying the same thing: the condition is more important than the person.

The Rude2Respect program is about challenging health stigma. It will create awareness of the many ways stigma is conveyed and help reduce the hurtful, isolating impact it has. It will tell its story in personal, human terms by giving voice to those who have experienced either side of the stigma issue.

Rude2Respect will help all of us learn to see with our hearts.

Did You Know?

Millions have stigmatized health conditions

OBESITY
Nearly
35% of adults
and 13 million children

in the U.S. suffer from obesity – one of the most highly stigmatized health conditions.

HEARING
Only 1 in 5 people who need hearing aids actually wear them –
and nearly 40% cite stigma as the reason why.
DISABILITIES
People with physical disabilities make up the largest minority group of the U.S.
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stories

Pat

Pat

Pat is a mother, a grandmother, a hearing health advocate for people with hearing loss and deafness, and a cochlear implant recipient. She has Meniere’s disease.

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Erik

Erik

Erik is a licensed clinical social worker, an avid fisherman, a former professional boxer, and the father of a young son, Tynan. Ty was born with a health condition called Sturge-Weber syndrome, an abnormality of the blood vessels in the brain that can cause seizures and other serious health problems. This is their story.

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Clarinda

Clarinda

Clarinda is a mother of two children. A near-fatal shooting at age 15 left her with multiple health challenges and began her lifelong advocacy for people with disabilities.

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James

Tara

Tara is a professional woman working in London. She has lived with incontinence her entire life. A spinal cord surgery at 18 months damaged the nerves to her bladder and bowel.

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James

James

James is a father, a grandfather, and the founder of Changing Faces, a U.K.-based charitable organization that helps people with facial disfigurements from all causes. James has won the Queen's Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal for his work.

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