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  • Politics and Policy at the Pub Thanks to Florida State 1, October19, 2016
    Some people go to bars and restaurants to get away from the noise surrounding politics – especially during this unique political season.  But as Matt Galka tells us, Florida state University is serving up heady policy discussion at a local pub. A couple of beers, a little bit of food…and some voting issues. That’s what […]
    Matt Galka
  • Just 12 Consumers have given to Consumers for Smart Solar 1, October19, 2016
      Florida’s investor owned utilities have pumped more than 15 million into Amendment one on November’s ballot. They say it protects consumers who have solar and those who don’t, but many believe it will only promote solar developed by the very companies companies pushing the amendment. The ads are slick. “Just think one for the […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Florida in the Middle of New Report Ranking State’s Gun Laws and Gun Violence 1, October18, 2016
    Florida is right in the middle when it comes to a new report correlating state’s gun laws and gun violence. But as Matt Galka tells us, some democrats in the state say we are going in the wrong direction. Stricter gun laws equals less gun violence. That’s the takeaway from the Center for American Progress […]
    Matt Galka
  • Judge Rules in Favor of Dems, Orders Mismatching Signature Fix 1, October17, 2016
    Voters who mail in their ballots now have some peace of mind if they scribble their names too sloppy. As Matt Galka tells us, a federal judge made sure that people will have the chance to fix a signature mistake – and make sure their vote counts. “The state of Florida has consistently chipped away […]
    Matt Galka
  • Supreme Court throws out new death sentencing scheme, inmates in limbo 1, October14, 2016
    The Supreme Court of Florida today said that a unanimous jury was required for the state to impose death, throwing out a newly enacted law that allowed ten jurors to impose the ultimate penalty, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the court left unanswered what happens to the nearly 400 people already on death row. […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Feds Suspect Florida Hack 1, October13, 2016
    Is Florida voting information in the hands of Russian hackers? As Matt Galka tells us, the feds think it might be, but a state agency says all is well. Cyber security and hacking have become prominent in the election cycle.  Federal investigators believe Russian hackers are behind the attacks. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is […]
    Matt Galka
  • Trump Remarks: Unsafe on any Campus 1, October12, 2016
    The book Unsafe on any Campus was released in July and details administrators inability to adequately deal with sexual assaults on campus, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the author now says their problem could be more difficult because of lewd remarks by Donald Trump. When the Washington Post released the video of Donald Trump […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Coalition calls for more Robust Zika Response, Input 1, October12, 2016
    A coalition of groups including Planned Parenthood and Equality Florida delivered a letter to Governor Rick Scott today, asking the state to open a two way communication on Zika and birth control issues. Kimberly Diaz of Planned Parenthood says legislation signed into law and later declared unconstitutional would have taken away access to birth control […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Fire Safety Week 1, October12, 2016
      This is Fire Prevention Week and people visiting the state capitol are being asked “when was the last time you used a fire extinguisher? The question was posed to reporter Mike Vasilinda, who like most of us, said quite awhile. He then got a demonstration for the office of the Fire Marshall’s Renee McCord. […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Voter Registration Deadline Extended 1, October12, 2016
    Floridians who didn’t register to vote…guess what? You have more time. As Matt Galka tells us, the deadline was extended in a short hearing Wednesday morning, and voters who end up registering can thank a hurricane for the extra time. It took about 40 minutes for Floridians to get an extra six days to register […]
    Matt Galka

RSS Quote of the Day



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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