Sunday, January 29, 2012

Iowa Joins Effort to Erase 'R' Word

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Lynn Holtzman wants people to know something about her. "I'm not stupid," she said.
Her friend Jessica Evans nodded her head in agreement. "I'm not stupid, either," she said.
Both Des Moines women have been diagnosed with mental retardation, but that label doesn't define everything about them. And they're smart enough to know that other people shouldn't throw around the word "retarded" as an insult to mean that something or someone is dumb.
"It's very disappointing. It hurts my feelings," Holtzman said. "I don't like to be called a name. Nobody does."
The women were glad to hear that Iowa lawmakers are participating in a national effort to reduce use of the word "retarded" or "retardation." A draft bill unveiled this week at the Statehouse would replace the words with "intellectual disability" almost everywhere in state law. The bill is 70 pages long, because the wording shows up so often in laws and regulations.

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