On May 8, the governor signed HB 343, which removes "mental retardation" in GA code and replaces it with "intellectual disabilities." our new This was the first bill sponsored by Senator Scott Hilton, who is a past DSAA board president and active member of DSAA. Scott was joined by Sheryl Arno, board member Todd Hartle, and other advocates to mark the occasion.
Why does eliminating the "R" word matter?
When originally introduced, the terms “mental retardation” or “mentally retarded” were medical terms with a specifically clinical connotation; however, the pejorative forms, “retard” and “retarded” have been used widely in today’s society to degrade and insult people with intellectual disabilities. The words “retard” and “retarded” are now commonly used as synonyms for “dumb” or “stupid” by people without disabilities. This reference only reinforces painful stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities being less valued members of our communities. Pledge to end the word here.