Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Sticks and Stones and Words Can Hurt
Although two bills introduced into the Virginia General Assembly this year have not yet passed, passage is looking good, and if they do pass, I will be very proud of my state. It’s hard for me to say such a thing because Virginia is ranked 47th out of 50 in services to people with disabilities. But passage of these bills would be a step in the right direction.
In both the House and the Senate, bills were introduced that would change the words ‘mentally retarded’ to ‘intellectually disabled’ in all references in the Virginia Code book (state laws). An impact statement for the change was completed, and the cost for wiping the reprehensible ‘mental retardation’ words out of the Code of Virginia would be $75,000. An agency name would have to be changed and letterhead and business cards would have to be reordered. That is all a small price to pay, in my opinion.
Do you think for another $75,000 we could do a brain-cleansing of all the people who continue to use the word ‘retarded’?