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  • Medical Marijuana Licenses Bring Concerns and Joy 1, November24, 2015
    5 growers across Florida are gearing up for the first legal marijuana in the states history. The five licenses were awarded yesterday, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, it will still be the middle of next year before patients see the first products. Lifelong nurseryman George Hackney was awarded one of five licenses to grow […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • AAA says Be Safe, Not Sorry 1, November24, 2015
    More than two million Floridians are expected to hit the roads over the Thanksgiving weekend. According to Triple A motor clubs, It is the busiest holiday travel weekend since 2008, and the auto club says the traffic is going be bad, there’s nothing you can do about it, so relax. “You can expect very buy […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Rick Scott Proposes 79.3 Billion State Budget with Potentially Higher Property Taxes 1, November23, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott is proposing a record state spending plan that cuts taxes by a billion dollars and boosts education spending. But as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the increase in school spending is coming from local property taxes, not state coffers. Governor Rick Scott chose a Jacksonville small company as the back drop for his […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Fantasy Sports Rules 1, November20, 2015
    Mounting legal issues have daily fantasy sports websites like draftkings and fanduel fighting legal battles in states like New York and Massachusetts, but as Matt Galka tells us, Florida legislators are scrambling to keep it legal here. Nevada says its gambling. New York says they can’t operate in the their state.  But daily fantasy sports […]
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  • FSU One Year Later: A Quiet Anniversary 1, November20, 2015
    Today marks the one year anniversary of a shooting on the campus of Florida State University. Three students were injured. One critically. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the university wasn’t taking any chances today. Two marked police vehicles were prominent outside Strozier Library. When asked, University officials said it was to give students peace of […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • FSU One Year Later: Paralyzed Victim Still Recovering 1, November20, 2015
    Just after midnight tonight (Thur)marks the one year anniversary of an on campus shooting. 22 year old FSU engineering student Ronny Ahmed was paralyzed from the waist down last November. As Mike Vasilinda tells us the  now wheelchair bound student hasn’t let his injuries keep him from moving forward. Ronny Ahmed was pulling an all […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Guns on Campus Bill Clears Final House Committee 1, November19, 2015
    Friday marks one year since a gunman opened fire at Florida State’s library, and lawmakers are using the chaotic scene as a jumping off point for controversial legislation. As Matt Galka tells us, the bill to allow concealed carry on college campuses continued to move through one legislative chamber. There’s no lack of passion on […]
    Matt Galka
  • FSU One Year Later: Victims Still Trying to Heal 1, November18, 2015
    Friday marks the one year anniversary of the shooting at the FSU Strozier library that injured three. Today, Mike Vasilinda has the story of how two people who could have died next to each other that day last year are handling the fact they survived. Nathan Scott can still be found sitting behind the same […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Healthcare for Immigrant Children 1, November18, 2015
    Almost four hundred thousand children don’t have access to quality health coverage here in the state, an alarming number. As Matt Galka tells us, lawmakers are trying to cut into that number with a bill that would focus on children of legal immigrants who desperately need health care. Kids whose parents are legal immigrants are […]
    Matt Galka
  • GOP Lawmakers Seek Immigration Changes, Penalties 1, November17, 2015
    Five GOP lawmakers are behind a series of three bills to change immigration policy. One would make it a crime for someone who has been ordered deported to be in the state, another would remove lawsuit protections, known as sovereign immunity, for so called sanctuary cities that protect those here illegally, and a third would […]
    Mike Vasilinda

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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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