DENVER — A derogatory phrase was removed from Colorado state statutes on Wednesday.
The words “mental retardation” will no longer appear in any Colorado laws after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bill into law.
Nineteen Colorado state statutes currently include the “R” word.
Mac Macsovits knows the impact of the word. His son, Guion, has Down syndrome.
“You’re talking about human beings and that word hurts. It hurts us as parents and it certainly hurts our son,” he said.
He said the change is overdue but certainly welcome.
“We’re not asking for anyone’s pity. Our son isn’t asking for pity. What we’re asking for is dignity and dignity of humankind, and he’s worthy of dignity just like anyone else,” he said.
The “R” word will be replaced in state statutes with the phrase “intellectual and developmental disability.”
Lisa Fretz is also applauding the revision. Her daughter Anna also has Down syndrome.
“I cringe when I hear that word. We’ve talked about that word a lot and I’d like to see it gone forever,” she said.
The change is expected to take effect sometime in August.
Several other states have made the revision. The U.S. Supreme Court decided to eliminate the phrase in 2014.