Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Texas disability advocates rally to ask state government to drop the R-word

From News 8 in Austin, Texas:

Advocates were at the State Capitol Nov. 23 trying to change the current language used in legislation.

The term ‘mental retardation’ would be changed to ‘intellectual disability’ under Senate Bill 26.

The change would affect any future legislation.

Since it does not ask past wordings to be changed, advocates say there would be very little cost in the change.

Those living with intellectual disabilities say the current terminology affects their standing in society.

"It’s a respect issue, that people with disabilities want to be respected in the community,” self-advocate James Meatours said. “Now, look at the ‘R’ word because I know its freedom of speech, it’s more than that. It's a respect issue and to be valued in the community."

Officials say a similar bill is being suggested in the Texas House.