Jan Brewer

Governor Jan Brewer Holds Ceremonial Signing for Law Striking "Retarded" and "Crippled" From Statutes

Governor Jan Brewer held a ceremonial signing in her office on Thursday for a new law that strikes the "R-word" from state statutes.

When it takes affect on September 30, the law will replace "mentally retarded," "retardation" and "crippled" in state code with gentler phrases like "children with intellectual disabilities," "physically disabled children," and so on.

The Arizona Republic's Ginger Rough writes that the newspaper learned of the small event from a tweet in the screenshot at left by former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner.

Brewer signed the bill back in April, as noted then by the public affairs company Highground, run by the governor's political consultant, Chuck Coughlin.

The word "retardation" pulls up 23 documents in a search of Arizona statutes, "retarded" appears in eight documents and "crippled" in six.

These days, of course, these words are tossed around casually as put-downs. Using them in official medical or legislative text would be -- idiotic.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.

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