Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The 'R' Word Gets the Cut in Hawaii

HONOLULU -- Michelle Muralt wept as Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill into law Monday that requires officials to replace the term "mental retardation" with "intellectual disabilities" in state programs.

"We just want people to know that the MR-word is not a correct word for calling other people names. We just want people to know so others will not be hurt by being called the MR-word," said Muralt, an instructor at Lanakila Pacific, a nonprofit organization in Liliha that helps people with disabilities live more independent lives.

Abercrombie said before signing House Bill 761, "Words are very, very important. We've all heard that ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.' And that's not true. Names can hurt. Words are attached to feeling. Words are a reflection of culture."

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