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  • Untitled 1, April16, 2015
    Hard ball politics over health care reform are on full display at the State Capitol this week, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, Governor Rick Scott is now threatening legal action against the Obama Administration. ”We need you to flip one more time Rick!” Rick Scott was once for expanded healthcare. Now he is against […]
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    Debate over legislation allowing terminally ill people to use experimental drugs turned into a debate about medical marijuana at the state Capitol today. Rep. John Wood, of Winter Haven sited the constitution and says sick people who believe marijuana will help their condition should go ahead and break the law. “The right to try represents […]
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  • Senior Day at the Capitol 1, April15, 2015
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  • Body Camera Legislation Watered Down in Senate, but is it Enough? 1, April14, 2015
    Legislation giving police almost total control over who can see video from body cameras was watered down today at the state Capitol, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, open government advocates say the legislation is almost self defeating. The video of a man fleeing and being shot by a police officer in South Carolina. If […]
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  • Gaetz for US Senate? 1, April14, 2015
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Offensive Word Removed from Nearly Two Dozen Florida Laws

July 2nd, 2013 by flanews

Millions of Americans have an intellectual disability, for years they were known as living with mental retardation; a new law in Florida is changing that.


23-year-old Brittany Norman works like most other adults in America. Her hard work is also helping put an end to a stigma for people who are intellectually disabled.

One day at school Norman recalls, “One of my friends called me retard, I told the teacher about them to stop. So, I told him do not say the ‘r-word’ or I’ll tell the teacher.”

The Arc, a group for people living with intellectual disabilities, has worked to change the stigma by eliminating the ‘r-word’. The organization says the word was outdated and offensive.

The Arc’s Executive Director Debroah Linton said, ”It’s really a matter of respect there’s a long history in this field with different types of diagnostic labels.”

The group lead by example three years ago, changing its name from the Association for Retarded Citizens to the Arc of Florida.

”For three years advocates have been trying to change the wording of the law. This year with the help from people living with intellectual disabilities it passed unanimously.” Linton said.

Norman met with lawmakers this past legislative session; sharing stories she endured growing up.

“The story for them, they were sad about the ‘r-word’.”

Her work helps make Florida the 40th state in the nation to remove the word “retarded” from all of its state laws. President Barack Obama signed a similar law, called Rosa’s law in 2010 removing the r-word in federal policy.

When asked about the law being passed Linton said, ”I’m ecstatic we’ve now joined the rank of the rest of the states to say respect and we want everyone included in our society,”

Even though their condition may not change, how people view the intellectually disabled may change if their no longer considered retarded. The phrase will change to intellectually disabled for 22 laws, the meanings of the statues will remain the same.

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