Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Words matter

The Dayton Daily News reports that The Ohio Association of County Boards of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities will vote on October 27 about whether to take the words "mental retardation" out of its name and ask the Ohio Dept. of MRDD to do the same. At issue is the "perception that modern usage of the slang variant, 'retard,' has a demeaning connotation and negates the legitimate use of the word 'retardation,'" according to the state MRDD department's July 25 newsletter.

Of course, disability activists and advocates have been campaigning for some time to educate and inform the public that when the word “retard” or “retarded” is used to describe someone or something negative it can be hurtful to individuals and families of those with intellectual disabilities. For example, see here to read about the efforts of The "R" Word Campaign to raise awareness, at the grass roots level, of the harmful effects the use of these words can have when they are used describe someone or something negative. And to read the "My Words Matter" Pledge by the writer Jenna Glatzer, see here.