On Friday, March 28, Michigan will officially remove the term "retard(ed)" from state laws when Lt. Governor Brian Calley puts pen to paper on the "R-Word" package of bills at Hill Auditorium in Lansing.
Earlier this month, the Michigan Senate and House unanimously voted to remove the term "retard(ed)" from state laws. Senator Rebekah Warren (D-18th District) and Senator Bruce Caswell (R-16th District) co-sponsored the Senate Resolution. Representatives Gail Haines (R-43rd District), Matt Lori (R-59th District) and Phil Cavanagh (D-10th District) sponsored the House Resolution.
The "R-Word" is currently used 15 times in a variety of Michigan laws dealing with everything from mental health institutions to educational facilities and criminal activity. It will now be replaced with the term "developmental disability". There are only a handful of states left that have yet to take similar measures.
About Aaron Mills: Aaron Mills is the Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator at Special Olympics Michigan.