Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm thankful for (among many other things too numerous to enumerate)

today's news that Senator Barbara A. Mikulski introduced “Rosa’s Law,” a bill that will eliminate the terms “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” from the federal law books. U.S. Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, is the Republican sponsor of the bill.

Read more about it HERE
And if you're a bit like me and inclined to think "why should words matter so much, especially these?" here's my favorite quote:

When Rosa’s Law was being considered by the Maryland General Assembly, Rosa’s 13-year-old brother, Nick, successfully testified on her behalf for a substitution of mentally retarded with intellectual disability. He explained, “Some people say they are just words, and it’s not going to make a difference if we just change the words. 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.”


  1. Wow, what a brother, 13yrs old and with so much insight.

  2. great testimony. It helped me understand more why "retarded" is so hurtful. To me, it was simply a medical diagnosis and shouldn't be used as a slur against anyone. The word itself isn't bad, it's the way it is used. But words evolve and it has turned into something ugly with the power to hurt. If the Feds remove it from their forms, then perhaps the rehab centers and physicians will start to use "intellectual disability" instead.

  3. YES. That is AWESOME.

  4. There are not many things that are more powerful than words in my opinion. And if they wouldn't matter than the word 'retarded' wouldn't feel like a sucker punch ever single time I hear it, no matter what the context is. So I'm thankful with you.

  5. words matter.
    this is very encouraging

  6. The word "retarded" was supposed to eliminate the stigma caused by earlier terms such as "feeble-minded." Sadly, it gained a stigma of its own. "Intellectually disabled," I hope, will not suffer such a fate.



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