Letters to the editor
Highlands TodayIntellectual disability
Published: February 14, 2013
Published: February 14, 2013
The Arc of Florida is working to make changes to state laws that are long overdue. Senate Bill 142, the Intellectual Disabilities Bill, would remove the term "mental retardation" and replace it with "intellectual disability" in state statutes.
The field of intellectual disabilities has evolved over the last few decades. Thirty years ago, when an individual was born with an intellectual disability, he or she would usually be institutionalized. Today, we understand that people with intellectual disabilities can live a full and rewarding life in their community.
Terminology used by medical professionals has also evolved over time. An example of this is the term "mental retardation." The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities replaced its official diagnosis with "intellectual disability." The American Psychiatric Association recently made a similar change. In late January, the Social Security Administration announced its intent to make the adjustment to its official "Listing of Impairments."
Once considered a valid medical term, the R-word has become a hurtful slang that promotes negative stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities. As someone who has worked in this field for 30-plus years, I know it makes individuals with intellectual disabilities feel bullied.
Changing public attitudes about the R-word is not easy. Numerous celebrities and public officials have been criticized in recent years for using the R-word. They include political commentator Ann Coulter, comedian Tracy Morgan, NBA star LeBron James, actresses Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Anniston and Kirstie Alley, singers Lady Gaga and Madonna. Tampa-based radio host Mike "Cowhead" Calta received complaints for his news segments that used the R-word.
Federal health, education and labor policy statutes were changed in 2010 when Congress passed and President Obama signed "Rosa's Law." Thirty-nine states have also changed their laws.
Everyone has the right to be treated with respect. This is an opportunity for Floridians to do just that. Please contact your state senator and representative. Encourage them to support the Intellectual Disabilities Bill and end the R-word in Florida.
Ridge Area Arc CEO and Arc of Florida Board Member
By any definition, Obamacare is officially a con job. Obama ordered the IRS to hire 12,000 new enforcement goons. These aren't accountants who will help the citizen figure out the hideous mess entailed in Obamacare; oh no, these are "enforcers" whose sole job is to ensure Obama's bloated, rotten, fetid bureaucracy is funded by all and sundry with or without the citizen's consent.
Who can forget Pelosi's infamous quote as millions of people were scratching their heads over the convoluted mass of obscure, senseless gibberish and regulations in the train wreck that is Obamacare: "Pass the bill, then you can read it." What a hoot.
Well, people are now finally reading it and getting to the nuts and bolts of the morass called Obamacare and gasping at the cost.
Here's a sample: According to the IRS, under Obamacare a family of two spouses and three kids would be liable for a health insurance plan costing $20,000 a year. Yes, $20,000 a year, and this is only good for 60 percent of the projected health care cost. Of course the Affordable Health Care Program, as liberals like to call it, would cap the cost of insurance to the family at no more than 9.5 percent of an individual's salary. Guess who gets to foot the bill for the rest?
The IRS, making up as they go what they will enforce and not enforce, says employers won't be responsible for their employee's children's health care plan, maybe. The family must go to a "State Exchange" to buy a plan for their children, all "out-of-pocket" of course. It ain't looking so "affordable" now is it?
Of course all those people who only get their information from liberal propaganda media outlets have never heard about this and wouldn't believe it even if they did the reading. Their dogma dictates "Our God, Obama, has spoken and we believeth." My response is, ya'll need a new deity, this one ain't working out.