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Ohio House approves bill removing derogatory language from state law

Published By ABC 6 on June 16, 2021
Tom Young In The News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — The Ohio House of Representatives approved Wednesday House Bill 281, which would remove derogatory language from state law.

The bill provides a comprehensive update to terminology regarding mental health and disabilities in the Ohio Revised Code.

HB 281, which is also known as the Mental Health and Disability Terminology Act, would change terms like “lunatics” to “incompetent individuals” and “mentally retarded” to “intellectually disabled” in Ohio law.

The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Tom Young, R-Washington Township, and Rep. Dontavius Jarrells, D-Columbus.

“This broad-based approach emphasizes the individuality, equality, and dignity of people with disabilities,” Young said. “Rather than defining persons primarily by their disability or mental health challenges, people-first language conveys respect by affirming the fact that people with disabilities are first and foremost just that-people. The Ohio Revised Code should reflect our respect for these individuals by removing outdated, insensitive language.”

HB 281 will now move to the Senate for consideration.

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