DAA News Network

USA: Bill to get rid of official use of the term “mental retardation”.

Posted 24/11-09 at 02.08

A bill has been introduced in the US Senate to remove the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" from federal law. They would be replaced with "intellectual disability" and "individual with an intellectual disability."

The proposed change is based on similar legislation recently adopted in the state of Maryland. It is called "Rosa's Law" because of Rosa Marcellino. Her family argued that the words used by officials to describe Rosa, an eight-year-old with Down Syndrome, were offensive and discriminatory.

In giving evidence to the Maryland legislators, Rosa's 14-year-old brother said, "Some say we shouldn't worry about the words, just the way we treat people. But when you think about it, what you call people is how you treat them! If we change the words, maybe it'll be the start of a new attitude towards people with intellectual disabilities. They deserve it."

Rosa with Maryland legislator



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