Thursday, May 15, 2008

Retarded Childrens Thrift Store

I know..sounds bad, right? It's real. Yes..a real place. When Jeff and I were in California on our honeymoon back in 2001, we stopped in Ventura, CA to have dinner at a very yummy mexican restaurant called Yolanda's. On our way down main street, we passed the store, whipped our heads around and then just stared at each other. So..Jeff drove around the block so we could go back by it and get a picture.You can look it up on Flick'r or Google Images. I tried uploading it here..but it wouldn't let me.I recently found this news article on Ventura's newspaper website, The Ventura County Star . I have highlighted what stands out to me.

Nonprofit's name change to show up on thrift stores

By Jennifer Saturday, September 1, 2007

Visitors to the Ventura and Oxnard locations will see a noticeable change at the Retarded Children's Thrift Store and Retarded Citizens Thrift Store.

Both stores will read The Arc Foundation Thrift Store by Sept. 10 if all goes according to schedule.

Replacing signs is one of the final steps to complete two official name changes. The Association for Retarded Citizens of Ventura County will be called The Arc of Ventura County, and its counterpart, the Foundation for Retarded Citizens of Ventura County, will be called The Arc Foundation of Ventura County.

The Arc of Ventura County is a nonprofit organization that provides education, vocational and residential services for people with developmental disabilities, including case management, job placement, job coaching and independent-living training.

"I've been encouraged to have this change for a while," said Fred Robinson, its CEO.

He said the organization has used The Arc of Ventura County unofficially since the early '90s, after the Association for Retarded Citizens of the United States became The Arc of the United States in 1992.

Further motivation came in November, when the American Association on Mental Retardation changed its name to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

As part of the official name change, anywhere "retarded" appears it will be removed, including signs, documents and literature.

Several years ago the athletes of Special Olympics came to management and expressed how hurtful they regarded the word "retarded," said Leslie Aun, Special Olympics International spokeswoman. Although the word goes back a long time, today it is outdated and often misused, she said.

The Arc of Ventura "is joining the recognition that it is a hurtful word, and in many ways, it's often used negatively," said Aun.

The Arc of Ventura County, established in 1954, serves more than 800 people through its programs. The original name, Association for Retarded Children of Ventura County, came about because of the founding father's children. In the '80s, the word "Children" was changed to "Citizens."

The Foundation for Retarded Citizens of Ventura County, now The Arc Foundation of Ventura County, was established in 1989 as a nonprofit corporation to raise funds to support the nonprofit's programs and services.

The thrift stores are at 265 E. Main St., Ventura, and 625 N. Oxnard Blvd., Oxnard. Both are open seven days a week. in 1992 the Asso. for Retarded Citizens of the US changed their name to the ARC of the US.'d think that maybe Ventura would've caught on and just gone ahead and officially changed their name..but no. They've been trying to get Mr. CEO to change the name for quite awhile apparently and a complaint from several years ago...from the S.O. athletes no less.. finally gets acknowledged. While I find the name of the store a bit offensive and's because of it's tactlessness that I also find it funny. Naming it the Retarded Children's Thrift Store is just evidence of some big cojones. I about just putting it all out there, you know? They've refused to join the "politically correct" society and I'm not sure whether to applaud them or smack them.

My question however, is why did it take so long for them to realize that "retarded" is a derogatory word and is meant to insult people? Could it possibly be that perhaps they are retarded? Oh..I'm sorry.."developmentally disabled"? Probably not, but's a question worth pondering. I am glad that I got to see it before it's name was changed. My pictures will now be safeguarded by robots and flying monkeys.