Social Security Administration announces plans to change 'mental retardation' to 'intellectual disabilities'

January 29, 2013

The Social Security Administration has announced its plans to change "mental retardation" to "intellectual disabilities" in its official Listing of Impairments. The Arc and many other organizations have advocated for this language change.

Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc, says:

“Changing how we talk about people with disabilities is a critical step in promoting and protecting their basic civil and human rights. This is an important moment for people with disabilities because Social Security is a lifeline to so many – it allows people with ID to live in their communities and be as independent as possible. And now, the language the agency uses will reflect the respect people with ID deserve.” 

The proposed change in regulation has a 30-day comment period. Please consider submitting your comments in support of the change by February 27, using any of the three methods outlined on the Government Printing Office website.

Read the whole press release from The Arc on their website