home
RSS
September 27th, 2010
02:23 PM ET

Congress eliminates the R-word

The word has rankled Sarah Palin. Using it landed Rahm Emanuel, the president’s chief of staff, in hot water. And actress Jennifer Aniston got slammed by advocates for saying it in slang.

And now, it’s a step closer to elimination from the federal government language.

The House of Representatives approved a bill that eliminates the use of the words “retarded” and “retardation” in health, education and labor laws.

The bill changes the terms from “mental retardation” to “intellectual disability” and “mentally retarded individual” to “individual with an intellectual disability.” This shift would make it more consistent with the language already used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United Nations, and the White House.

Rosa’s Law passed in the Senate in August, and now heads to President Barack Obama’s desk. The bill was proposed by Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland.

Rosa Marcellino is a girl from Edgewater, Maryland, who has Down syndrome. She had been labeled retarded by her school - a term that her mother does not permit her children to use, according to a news release from Mikulski’s office.

Read the bill here.

“What you call people is how you treat them,” her older brother, Nick Marcellino had said. “What you call my sister is how you will treat her. If you believe she’s ‘retarded,’ it invites taunting, stigma. It invites bullying and it also invites the slammed doors of being treated with respect and dignity.”

Advocates consider the term a stinging label that is outdated and stigmatizing.

“We understand that language plays a crucial role in how people with intellectual disabilities are perceived and treated in society,” said Peter V. Berns, CEO of The Arc in a statement. “Changing how we talk about people with disabilities is a critical step in promoting and protecting their basic civil and human rights.”

The Arc, which promotes and protects rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has been advocating the use of “intellectual disability."

“We strongly believe the only 'r-word' that should be used when referring to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is ‘Respect,’” according to the website.

The Arc of the United States originated as the National Association for Retarded Children and adopted its current name in 1992, dropping the term as “pejorative, derogatory and demeaning in usage.”

The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, a professional association working with intellectual and developmental disabilities, also dropped the word “mental retardation” from its names and titles of two flagship journals.

“The language we use when talking about disabilities in general, and intellectual disabilities in particular, has changed over time,” said Margaret A. Nygren, executive director and CEO of AAIDD in a statement. “These changes reflect a cultural shift in understanding that people with developmental and intellectual disabilities are entitled to the same dignity and human rights as every other member of society. The passage of the Rosa’s Law legislation to use the term “intellectual disabilities” within federal education, health, and labor laws is likely to have a far reaching impact on the language used in our society.”

But not everyone is embracing the shift. Critics say that changing the word is an act of political correctness, rather than any substantive change.

Christopher M. Fairman is a professor at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University and author of a book subtitled "Word Taboo and Protecting Our First Amendment Liberties” wrote in a Washington Post column earlier this year: “If interest groups want to pour resources into cleaning up unintentional insults, more power to them; we surely would benefit from greater kindness to one another. But we must not let "retard" go without a requiem. If the goal is to protect intellectually disabled individuals from put-downs and prejudice, it won't succeed. New words of insult will replace old ones.”


soundoff (993 Responses)
  1. xoilac.tv

    Links Coi Thẳng đá Bóng Futsal Việt Nam Vs Lebanon Vòng Chủng Loại World Cupthvl2 trực tiếpĐây có lẽ là trường hợp “của đi thay cho người" khá như ý đối cùng với Ben McLemore. Thiếu chút nữa tay ném của Los Angeles Lakers đã có thể gặp hiểm họa nguy hiểm. Cập nhật kết trái trận nước ta vs Lebanon nằm trong play-off vòng loại Futsal World Cup 2021.

    https://virandoamor.com/detail/zlatan-fifa-2020-full-crack-download-111349.html

    June 13, 2021 at 05:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. EncoxDev

    pharmacy shop online walmart store pharmacy locator canadian pharmacy comparison

    June 13, 2021 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. https://www.bicho777.com/

    940812 682765Nowhere on the Internet is there this a lot quality and clear info on this subject. How do I know? I know because Ive searched this topic at length. Thank you. 707988

    June 15, 2021 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. vach ve sinh

    Very energetic blog, I enjoyed that a lot. Will there
    be a part 2?

    June 15, 2021 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. pharmacepticacom

    erectile therapy after prostatectomy https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 17, 2021 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. báo giá vách ngăn vệ sinh

    What's up, this weekend is pleasant for me, because this time i am reading this
    wonderful educational article here at my residence.

    June 18, 2021 at 04:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. bao gia vach ngan ve sinh

    I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this
    post was great. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you
    aren't already 😉 Cheers!

    June 18, 2021 at 07:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. pharmaceptica.com

    hidroxicloroquina 400mg https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 18, 2021 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. mbee.com.vn

    Hello there! I could have sworn I've visited this web site before but after looking at many of the articles I realized it's new to me.
    Regardless, I'm definitely delighted I came across it and I'll
    be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

    June 19, 2021 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. vách vệ sinh

    I know this website offers quality depending content and extra stuff, is there any other web page which presents such data
    in quality?

    June 19, 2021 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. vach ngan ve sinh

    Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your
    situation; many of us have created some nice practices and we are looking to exchange techniques with others, please shoot me an email
    if interested.

    June 19, 2021 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. gia vach ngan ve sinh

    If you would like to get a great deal from this paragraph then you
    have to apply these techniques to your won webpage.

    June 19, 2021 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. mbee.com.vn

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up!
    I'll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later.
    Many thanks

    June 20, 2021 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. https://mbee.com.vn/bao-gia-vach-ngan-ve-sinh-compact-hpl-12mm-nam-2020/

    This is my first time visit at here and i am actually happy to read all at single place.

    June 20, 2021 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. vach ve sinh

    of course like your web-site however you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts.
    Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth however I will certainly come back again.

    June 20, 2021 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. vach ngan ve sinh

    For latest news you have to pay a quick visit the web and on world-wide-web I found this website as a finest site for most recent updates.

    June 20, 2021 at 23:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. pharmacepticacom

    is tadalafil and cialis the same thing https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 01:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. pharmaceptica.com

    what is hcq https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 03:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. https://mbee.com.vn

    Thanks to my father who told me about this webpage, this webpage is actually
    remarkable.

    June 21, 2021 at 06:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. vach ngan compact

    Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too.
    This sort of clever work and exposure! Keep up the awesome works guys I've incorporated you
    guys to my blogroll.

    June 21, 2021 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. pharmaceptica.com

    buy sildenafil canada https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. judi online bola

    I was extremely pleased to uncover this great site. I want to to thank
    you for ones time for this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every part of it
    and i also have you saved as a favorite to check
    out new things on your site.

    Here is my site; judi online bola

    June 24, 2021 at 03:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. vach ve sinh

    Hello mates, its wonderful article concerning tutoringand
    fully explained, keep it up all the time.

    June 24, 2021 at 04:37 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Leave a Reply to Kalyan Nagar escorts


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.