I'm happy to report that Rosa's Law has now become actual law, signed by President Obama yesterday. Disability Scoop reports that the measure was approved unanimously by Congress (an amazing development, getting THIS Congress to agree on anything!!) The actual changes will take effect over time, as the relevant documents come up for revision.
If I weren't convinced already that "intellectual disability" is a step from an increasingly-pejorative term to a less-freighted one, a comment from mama edge on my last year's post would have sealed it for me:
You really helped me today. I've been unable to talk to Taz about his mental retardation, but I think I could definitely talk to him about his intellectual disability.
That's the level of what's at stake here!
Now, I'm under no illusions that intellectual disability won't pick up its own negative freight. After all, mental retardation was an immense step forward in its day, from terms like moron and idiot into a more clinical term of art. But now it has become a casual insult, like its predecessors. It's time for it to go.
Maybe the next time we switch terms, a few decades down the pike, we'll be able to come up with one with few enough syllables that it doesn't torpedo the reading level of any document containing it!
Meanwhile -- intellectual disability is the latest and greatest. A fine step forward.