This is a short speech given by 2 women in the state of Virginia recently. It says a lot about the steps being taken to recognize folks with developmental disabilities as complete human beings.
Speech Given to Health, Welfare and Institutions January 15, 2008 and Health and Education January 17, 2008
by Jill Egle’ and Erin Thompson
Jill Egle’:In our self advocacy group, People First, we don’t like the “R word” which is label and stands for Retarded. We don’t like it because it hurts our feelings and it puts us down in our lifetime. 40 years ago doctors used to label us as retarded because it was accepted in society when a child was born with a disability it was okay to say the “R word”. Erin Thompson:In 2008 it is NOT okay to use the “R word” when you are talking about ANY PERSON. We want to be known as a person first. A person with a name– not called a diagnosis, an I.Q. Score, a mental age, or somebody’s child. If the State and state organizations must describe our disability– we request that the term Intellectual Developmental disability be used rather than the current termMental Retardation. Jill and Erin:We would like to leave today and be able to proudly state that HB 760 and SB 620passed unanimously and… Virginia is not Retarded anymore…