ALBANY, N.Y. -- Governor David A. Paterson today signed into law a bill which changes the name of the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) to the New York State Office For People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). The historic legislation removed the words "Mental Retardation" from the name of the State agency and from State statute and regulations, and will take effect immediately.
"This name change sends a strong message that New York values the dignity and respect of individuals with developmental disabilities" Governor Paterson said. "For many people with developmental disabilities the words 'mental retardation' are hurtful and represent a disrespectful term. The Office For People With Developmental Disabilities is a name that respects their rights as people with developmental disabilities to have an agency name that invokes pride, and not shame."