BILL REQ. #: H-4159.2
|State of Washington||61st Legislature||2010 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/15/10. Referred to Committee on Human Services.
TO THE HONORABLE BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, People with disabilities find the term "mentally retarded" to be disrespectful and degrading; yet its usage has persisted in medicine and the law until recently; and
WHEREAS, The term "intellectual disability" can be applied to the same persons who were previously diagnosed or identified in statute and regulation with the terms "mental retardation," and "mentally retarded," replacement of the term "mental retardation" with "intellectual disability" would not affect or alter service eligibility requirements or in any other way change the substance or effect of the law; and
WHEREAS, Today, there is widespread recognition in the professional, legal, and medical communities that the term "mental retardation" is hurtful and inappropriate, with the result that in 1992, The Arc of the United States, which serves individuals with intellectual disabilities, eliminated the word "retarded" from its name (formerly "Association of Retarded Citizens"), and is now known simply as "The Arc of the United States." In 2007, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities also eliminated "mental retardation" from its name, and has declared that "mental retardation and intellectual disability are two names for the same thing"; and
WHEREAS, On July 25, 2003, President Bush signed Executive Order 13309, renaming the President's Committee on Mental Retardation as the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities; and
WHEREAS, In 2009, the Legislature of the State of Washington enacted House Bill 1835 (chapter 377, Laws of 2009), which mandates replacement of all references to "mental retardation" with the term "intellectual disabilities"; and
WHEREAS, "Rosa's Law," a bipartisan bill introduced by United States Senators Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Michael Enzi of Wyoming, would substitute the outdated terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" with the terms "intellectual disability" and "individual with an intellectual disability" in federal health, education, and labor policy statutes; and
WHEREAS, Passage of federal legislation with similar effect would encourage states and other jurisdictions to act in conformity by replacing references to "mental retardation" with "intellectual disability" and address concerns regarding maintaining eligibility for services or benefits and the consistent application of federal and state law;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully request that the Congress of the United States pass legislation that eliminates the use of the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" from federal law and substitute the term "intellectual disability" and "individual with an intellectual disability," and that the President of the United States sign such legislation into law.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.