NJ Bans the Word 'Retarded'

At least in official state documents

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 17, 2010 10:28 AM CDT

(Newser) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a law today forbidding state laws or rules to use the term “mentally retarded” to refer to those with intellectual disabilities. “This is making sure each citizen in our state is treated with the respect they deserve,” Christie said. “It’s their government too.” The legislation was championed by the Arc of New Jersey, an advocacy group that hopes to someday remove the word from casual use as well, the Star-Ledger reports.

“We’d like New Jersey to get to a place where you can’t use the ‘R’ word without it being inflammatory,” said one Arc executive. The bill also bans the use of terms like physically handicapped, feeble-minded, and physically defective ... all of which currently appear in state laws and regulations.

Chris Christie speaks to the media in this file photo.
Chris Christie speaks to the media in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
Archive copies of the Collegiate Dictionary rest on a bookshelf at the headquarters of the Merriam-Webster dictionary publisher in Springfield, Mass., Wednesday July 1, 2009.
Archive copies of the Collegiate Dictionary rest on a bookshelf at the headquarters of the Merriam-Webster dictionary publisher in Springfield, Mass., Wednesday July 1, 2009.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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