Monday, November 22, 2010
Erasing a Hurtful Label From the Books
Cliff Poetz of Minnesota, now 61 years old, went to Washington 40 years ago and told lawmakers they shouldn't use the term "mentally retarded" to describe him and others with intellectual disabilities.
"It meant we were dumb and stupid," said Mr. Poetz, who is neither. Born with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities, he spoke out about what it was like living in institutions and was invited by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy to testify at a hearing on the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. He now works at the University of Minnesota.