Monday, May 24, 2010

US Senate To Consider "Rosa's Law"

This is good news indeed:

The Senate is expected to consider a measure this week to replace the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” in references throughout federal government.

The bill known as “Rosa’s Law” is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension committee on Wednesday.

Under the proposed law, there would be no change to the rights of individuals with disabilities, but the terminology used in federal health, education and labor policy would be altered.

Several states have already passed similar laws and some federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already use the term intellectual disability, according to Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., who introduced the bill last fall. What’s more, recommendations for the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders released earlier this year also call for the term “mental retardation” to be done away with in the medical field.

This bill is long overdue, but I can't help but wonder if they couldn't find something better than "intellectual disability."

For the record, the State of Wisconsin still uses the old "mental retardation" language. Milwaukee County even has positions with that term incorporated into them (Qualified Mental Retardation Professional).

1 comment:

  1. Intellectual disability was about 20 years ago. Other terms used are mentally challenged, cognitively disabled, devlopmentally disabled, differently abled and some more. In the Vegas schools we still use mental retardation in our documentation.
    While it's nice to use another term than mental retardation, are they going to change the bill every time a new fad term comes in?