New York cancels use of "mentally retarded" as official term

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ASPartOfMe
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27 Jul 2022, 4:54 pm

Gov. Hochul signs bill dropping ‘mentally retarded’ from state use

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law Tuesday legislation removing “mentally retarded” as an official term from state laws overseeing everything from alleged crimes to the arts.

“Numerous sections of New York State law [describe] people with disabilities as being mentally retarded. We’ve evolved from that. That is a stigma that we can move away from,” Hochul said at a Midtown press conference.

State laws covering topics like crime, social services, education, the arts and family law are to use “developmentally disabled” and similar terminology instead of “mentally retarded” or “mental retardation,” according to two bills sponsored by state Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti (D-Westchester).

Supporters say replacing the outdated terminology provide a big boost for developmentally disabled people alongside three other bills signed into law by Hochul on Wednesday, which collectively aim to help people live more fruitful lives.
he bill signing comes on the 32nd anniversary of President George H. W. Bush signing into law the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

“At the time, Congress found that individuals with disabilities had been historically isolated and segregated, and that discrimination against individuals with disabilities continued to be a serious and pervasive social problem. And while we have made progress, too much of the promise of the ADA has been unfulfilled,” Simon added.

Another new law – sponsored by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-Catskills) and state Sen. Samra Brouk (D-Rochester) – removes a state residency requirement for a program that helps people save money to cover disability-related expenses like health care without losing eligibility for other social services like Social Security.


Woke brownie points. If the state really wanted to help the developmentally disabled they would pass Andres Law to stop sending residents to the Judge Rotenberg Center and repeal a law passed last year expanding the use of ABA.


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kraftiekortie
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31 Jul 2022, 12:18 pm

They probably should have done that 30 years ago…”mentally retarded” was outdated even then.



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04 Aug 2022, 5:14 pm

Mentally Retarded is, at best, a description of a symptom, and a vague one at that. Are you saying that someone appears dumber than some certain arbitrary cutoff point beyond which we move from regular stupidity to something pathological? Do we know why that is the case? And why not just use the term "cognitive impairment?"

At worst, it is a slur.

I don't want to be language police, but yeah, some people find the word retarded offensive. And while I say my fair share of offensive words when not trying to impress others, I see no need for my foul language to have medical legitimacy. Quite the contrary.

Regarding the JRC, yeah they are the worst. But regarding ABA, I recently saw a Temple Grandin article that said that ABA can be useful, but it really comes down to the quality and correct application.https://www.templegrandin.com/faq.html



Last edited by Bepidrix on 04 Aug 2022, 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Twilightprincess
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04 Aug 2022, 5:19 pm

I don’t like the term “mentally retarded.” It’s used as an insult and is, technically, a slur these days. I prefer the term “intellectually disabled” and use it in my work (special education teacher).

I had a friend with Down’s Syndrome as I was growing up who was bullied by other kids with that word. It’s hard for me to hear it without cringeing. It was hard for him, too.

Since English is a living language, acceptable words can evolve to mean something else. That’s what happened with the R word.


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DavidJSNSW64
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04 Aug 2022, 5:30 pm

Put it this way, I wouldn't like to be called mentally retarded so I would certainly not use the term to describe other people.



kraftiekortie
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04 Aug 2022, 9:45 pm

“Retard” was a favorite insult heaped upon me.



cyberdad
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04 Aug 2022, 10:20 pm

I started a thread about banning the r-word a few years ago and was informed by some members that I was impinging on people's personal freedoms

It would seem younger higher functioning members in WP claimed they had the right to use the r-word

Not sure where those people are now?



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04 Aug 2022, 10:26 pm

cyberdad wrote:
I started a thread about banning the r-word a few years ago and was informed by some members that I was impinging on people's personal freedoms

It's nice to see society catching up with one's values. Progress seems agonizingly slow, but it's happening.


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cyberdad
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04 Aug 2022, 10:29 pm

Twilightprincess wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
I started a thread about banning the r-word a few years ago and was informed by some members that I was impinging on people's personal freedoms

It's nice to see society catching up with one's values. Progress seems agonizingly slow, but it's happening.


It somewhat troubled me that this attitude was coming from people with autism :roll:

The r-word is heavily used in music/comedy still so it will take some time to remove from younger people's vocabluary



Twilightprincess
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04 Aug 2022, 10:36 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
I started a thread about banning the r-word a few years ago and was informed by some members that I was impinging on people's personal freedoms

It's nice to see society catching up with one's values. Progress seems agonizingly slow, but it's happening.


It somewhat troubled me that this attitude was coming from people with autism :roll:

The r-word is heavily used in music/comedy still so it will take some time to remove from younger people's vocabluary


I actually hear it more from older people. My parents use it all the time. :roll:


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cyberdad
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05 Aug 2022, 1:33 am

Twilightprincess wrote:
I actually hear it more from older people. My parents use it all the time. :roll:


A lot of younger people consider it "street talk" which is kind of a undesirable element of a sub-culture that has normalised it. Popular comedians use it all the time which means it's still doing the rounds.

The older people you are referring to used it as a slur when they were in school (I don't think that's changed either).



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05 Aug 2022, 7:46 am

cyberdad wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
I actually hear it more from older people. My parents use it all the time. :roll:


A lot of younger people consider it "street talk" which is kind of a undesirable element of a sub-culture that has normalised it. Popular comedians use it all the time which means it's still doing the rounds.

The older people you are referring to used it as a slur when they were in school (I don't think that's changed either).


It’s not street talk around here because it’s not considered a cool thing to say. It’s used by people who are used to using it (like my parents), those who don’t mind using slurs about marginalized people because they don’t like “wokeness” (my dad as well), or children who do not understand the deeper implications of what they are saying. It’s almost viewed as dorky.


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kraftiekortie
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05 Aug 2022, 8:11 am

"Mentally retarded" is not the correct term for somebody with "intellectual disability"----whether one is "woke" or not "woke." And it hasn't been for quite a long time.

Just because "idiot" was an official medical term back in the 1920s----doesn't mean it's a correct term nowadays (obviously!). Language evolves.



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05 Aug 2022, 8:16 am

There are words that had been used to for races and women which were, at one point, perfectly acceptable. When the words turned into slurs, we, rightfully, stopped using them, except for…certain types of people.


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05 Aug 2022, 8:20 am

For government, medical and official use it makes sense. Depends on the context though. Outside of formal settings it's still mostly acceptable.

I call one guy in work the "R" word all the time along with "Degenerate". He always tries to counter with his own colourful vocabulary and sometimes wins.



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05 Aug 2022, 9:44 am

If a word used as a diagnosis becomes scientifically inaccurate I have no objection to changing the term. “Mental Retardation” if used literally is not less accurate then “Intellectual Disability”. “Manic Depression” is more accurate then bi polar which sounds like a meteorological term.

First it was imbecile and idiot were medical terms, then they became insults, so the diagnosis was changed to retarded, then when that became an insult, the diagnosis was changed to intellectual disability. How long until intellectual disability is dropped because it becomes an insult?. What is happening here is that we are letting bullies define language for us. This really rubs me the wrong way. It is never going to end unless we put a stop to it. It can be done. “Queer” was a slur that is a descriptor today because that community said enough.


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