'Intellectual Disability' Bill Would Replace The Term 'Retarded' In Calif. Regulations And Publications

A bill awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's signature won't change any services, rights or responsibilities in state law. But to supporters, the bill's changes are critical: It would drop the words "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" from state regulations and publications.

The terms, which supporters of the bill say are outdated and offensive, would be replaced by "intellectual disability" and "person with an intellectual disability." The legislation, by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Santa Monica, passed unanimously in both the state Assembly and Senate last week.

"As a former school teacher I can tell you that words do matter," Pavley said in a statement issued to California Watch. "The use of the 'R-word' can be very offensive to many people with intellectual disabilities and their families, and as people have become accustomed to casually using the 'R-word' as a joke or to demean someone, it's shaped the perception of and, undoubtedly, the self-worth of these individuals."

From: Huffington Post, By Joanna Lin