Words matter, experts say, so remove “retardation”
By NICK STANEK
Capital News Service
LANSING – Lawmakers are considering changing laws that refer to people with intellectual disabilities by removing terms that some find offensive. The step is part of a multi-bill package that has bipartisan support, Alan Bolter, the associate director for the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards, said. Seven bills are in the Senate and eight are in the House. “This is a great step in the right direction to remove stigma individuals face on a daily basis,” Bolter said. “I think it raises awareness if it just give that person a moment of pause before they use the r-word.”
The r-word is “retardation.”
Similar legislation is being considered in other states as part of a national movement to fight discrimination against people with disabilities.