Rosa’s Law and The R Word

Here is something I didn’t know. On October 5, 2010, President Barack Obama signed legislation requiring the federal government to replace the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” in many areas of government. The measure is known as Rosa’s Law, named after Rosa Marcellino, a Maryland girl with Down syndrome. Under the law, “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” was stripped from federal health, education and labor policy. “Intellectual disability” and “individual with an intellectual disability” was inserted in their place.

I think most of us have heard about the R-word movement to eliminate the use of the word “retarded” from our vocabulary. People have been in my and Gigi’s presence and slipped using the word and continued on like they didn’t miss a beat. I’m guessing they didn’t even notice it came out of their mouth. I make myself feel better by thinking that maybe they think Gigi is so great that they momentarily forgot that they were in the presence of someone who would have once been labeled retarded. In any case, I don’t dwell and just hope that now that they know Gigi they will be less inclined to use the word.


October is Down syndrome awareness month. This month I am participating in a blog challenge for Down syndrome awareness. Click the link below to see a list of more blogs posting for Down syndrome awareness during the month of October…

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