A Rose By Any Other Name

Federal Register:

Rosa’s Law

Rehabilitation Act
Statute: Rosa’s Law amended the Rehabilitation Act by substituting “intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” in section 7(21)(A)(iii) (29 U.S.C. 705(21)(A)(iii)); substituting “intellectual disabilities” for “mental retardation” in section 204(b)(2)(C)(vi) (29 U.S.C. 764(b)(2)(C)(vi)); and substituting “President’s Disability Employment Partnership Board and the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities” for “President’s Committees on Employment of People With Disabilities and on Mental Retardation” in section 501(a) (29 U.S.C. 791(a)).

Regulations: We have substituted “intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” and “having an intellectual disability” for “mentally retarded” in the following definitions:

Term Section within title 34, CFR
“handicapped person” § 104.3(j)(2)(i).
“individual with a severe disability” § 385.4.
“individual with a significant disability” §§ 361.5 and 373.4.
“individual with handicaps” § 105.3.
“physical or mental impairment” § 361.5.

We have also substituted “intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” in Appendix A to part 104.

Reasons: We have made these regulatory revisions to implement the changes made to the Rehabilitation Act by Rosa’s Law

*The sentences should read “substituting “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability”.

Rosa’s Law is a United States law which replaces several instances of “mental retardation” in law with “intellectual disability”. The bill was introduced as S.2781 in the United States Senate on November 17, 2009, by Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). It passed the Senate unanimously on August 5, 2010, then the House of Representatives on September 22, and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 5. The law is named for Rosa Marcellino, a girl with Down Syndrome who was nine years old when it became law, and who, according to President Barack Obama, “worked with her parents and her siblings to have the words ‘mentally retarded’ officially removed from the health and education code in her home state of Maryland.” – Wikipedia

While “Rosa’s Law” is extremely important to the changing the language of the law it does not change the negative attitude we harbor towards individuals who live outside the artificial norm that exists in our society.

When we see every child as gifted and talented it will no longer be necessary to label our children in order for them to receive the excellent education they deserve.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

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