Podcasts & RSS Feeds
Most Active Stories
- Don't like the water shut-offs in Detroit? Now you can pay someone's overdue water bill
- Approaching construction on the highway? Experts say the "zipper merge" can help
- This ballot proposal is critical to Michigan's economy, but most people won't bother to vote on it
- These three female candidates could be some of the most interesting leaders in Michigan
- Those who want to outlaw publications over sexually explicit ads should study Constitution first
Tue March 4, 2014
Bills call for erasing the 'R-word' from Michigan laws
A bipartisan package of bills to remove words like "mentally retarded" from all state laws is working its way through the Michigan Legislature.
The words will be replaced with more respectful terms like "intellectually or developmentally disabled."
Lois Arnold is director of Special Olympics Michigan. She supports the bills, which were recommended by the Michigan Mental Health and Wellness Commission.
Arnold says what she calls the "R-word" is stigmatizing and frequently intended to demean and hurt.
"People now are using that word in society today to degrade and insult people with intellectual disabilities," she said. "They're words that are synonymous for the word 'dumb' or ' stupid' when they're trying to make reference to somebody with disabilities."
Arnold says after the bills' passage, Michigan will be aligned with all but six other states that have eliminated the word "retarded" from their laws.
Virginia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom