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’?

8 comments:

Esbee said...

It would be worth $750,000. Also "gay" as a perjorative. (Where I come from, it's a fine, Southern name, and it means "happy".)

Esbee said...

Make that pejorative.

Ashley's Mom said...

One of my best friends is named 'Gay'. I have always loved that name. It makes you happy just saying it :)

little miss trashy said...

your entries always leave me something to ponder over , and often teach me something new . so i thank you for sharing once again .

pardon my ignorance , but don't retarded just mean slow ? does it sound that terrible ? or is it just because of the way people use it , like the word 'gay'?

Ashley's Mom said...

Trashy, if used in its purest sense - to describe someone with a cognitive disability - it wouldn't be absolutely terrible, but there are better ways to say the same thing. But, you are right, more often then not, it is the way the words are used - as a negative description of someone. Used that way, it implies that having a cognitive disability is a very negative thing. I don't believe it is - it's just a difference, like some people are blonde and some are redheads.

Casdok said...

Yes it is a step in the right direction. The UK changed these words some years ago now and it has made some difference.

Carl Anderson said...

There was a time that words like idiot, moron and imbecile were clinical diagnostic words to identify different IQ levels. Retarded has become similar in its use as a term of derision. I wonder how long it will take intellectual disabilities to suffer the same fate. (He is such an ID!)

MMC said...

If only brain-cleansing could be accomplished for the low price of $75,000! That would be money well-spent.