The California Senate today unanimously approved a bill today that would strip the phrase "mentally retarded" from existing statutes, replacing that and related terms with "intellectual disability."
"Words do matter and the 'R word' is outdated and offensive to people with intellectual disabilities and their families," bill author Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, said today.
Pavley's office said it is difficult to track how many times the language is used in state code because it comes up in many contexts, including provisions related to education, social services and criminal justice. To avoid added costs, the changes dictated by the bill would be made as part of routine review or revisions to code. The federal government adopted a similar change in 2010.
Senate Bill 1381, which does not affect state services for people with such disabilities, now heads to the Assembly for consideration.