Craddick files bill to update terminology for intellectually disabled

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Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 8:03 PM CST
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) -Today, Texas House Representative Tom Craddick filed a bill to update the Texas statute references for those with intellectual disabilities.

Spectrum of Solutions, Executive Director, Kayla Minchew says that this is a big victory for the state of Texas.

She also says that if the bill does pass, it’ll give a more appropriate terminology to those with intellectual disabilities.

Representative Craddick says that updating this termInology will ultimately help in the efforts to decrease the stigma behind disabilities.

The statement from Craddick says, “under this legislation, the state of Texas will change the statue which will replace “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability”.

Kathleen Kirwan Hanie, who worked with Craddick to propose the bill says in part quote “decades ago, words associated with mental illness or intellectual disabilities to insult someone were common in everyday vocabulary, but that time has come to an end.”

Spectrum of Solutions, in Midland, provides services for the individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Executive Director for Spectrum of Solutions, Kayla Minchew, says that if this bill passes, it’ll be a big win for all of Texas.

“We’re really excited to see the terminology change in Texas. It’s been a long time coming, and it’s important that we use the correct terminology when referring to our clients,” said Minchew.

Minchew says that mental retardation is a slur that is outdated and that is more insulting than informative.

Spectrum of Solutions was previously know as MARC but they changed it this year because of the slur, and now, Minchew says the community has responded by thanking them.

“When we changed our name, we had several parents reach out to us and say thank you. Thank you for making sure my child matters, thank you for my sibling for making sure their voice was heard,” said Minchew.

Spectrum of Solutions also began a campaign called “We ‘R’ Done” in the beginning of the year that allows citizens to take pledges to never use that slur.

“The ‘R’ slur. You and I don’t like to be called slang, we don’t like to be called names, so why would our clients with intellectual disabilities like that either. So we want to be mindful of how they feel and that’s why we have chosen not to use that word,” said Minchew.