Intellectual Disability to Replace Mental Retardation

  • Since 1846 there has been an evolution of stigmatizing names, such as moron or imbecile, to describe intellectual disability (ID).
  • In 1895 the term retarded was introduced to replace these stigmatizing terms, however, in the 1960s the term became derogatory and used to insult someone.
  • In 2012 President Obama signed Rosa’s Law, legislation requiring the Federal Government to replace mental retardation (MR) with the term intellectual disability (ID) in federal records.
  • In 2013 the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders adopted this new term to replace the older term mental retardation.

To learn more check out the following:

Rosa’s Law

History of Stigmatizing Names


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