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Bill Prompting ‘People First’ Language Signed into Law

June 3, 2013, Anchorage, Alaska – In a move to foster a more respectful and inclusive use of language in state statute, Governor Sean Parnell today signed legislation updating state health, education and labor policy by removing the terms “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded,” and replacing them with “people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

“Our words matter,” Governor Parnell said. “Our statutes will now more fully reflect dignity and respect for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Governor Parnell signed House Bill 88, sponsored by Representative Charisse Millett and Senator Kevin Meyer, during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Special Olympics Sports Health and Wellness Campus in Anchorage.

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