Disability Connection


Out with the old- Social Security to stop using negative term…

  • Jan, Thu, 2013

Out with the old- Social Security to stop using negative term…

The Social Security Administration will replace the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability”. More than two years after all federal  health, education, and labor policies were legally required to make the switch under Rosa’s Law, Social Security will voluntarily make the switch.

“‘Advocates for individuals with intellectual disability have rightfully asserted that the term ‘mental retardation’ has negative connotations, has become offensive to many people, and often results in misunderstandings about the nature of the disorder and those who have it,” the Social Security Administration said in a proposed rule published in the Federal Register on Monday.” (Thanks to Michelle Diament of Disability Scoop – read the full article here.)

Social Security will now refer to “mentally retarded children” as “children with intellectual disabilities” according to the notice. “Changing how we talk about people with disabilities is a critical step in promoting and protecting their basic civil and human rights…This is an important moment for people with disabilities because Social Security is a lifeline to so many.” -Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc. It’s about time the rest of the world got with it too – categorizing people by their abilities is harmful! We are all people, just WITH different abilities.