Monday, March 16, 2009

Action Alert: People First Bill

Action Alert: Take Action Today.
Call Your North Carolina State Senators and Representatives Today and Tell Them to Vote Yes for the People First Bill.

What the Bill Does:

This bill directs legislative drafting office and state agencies to use certain respectful reference to people with disabilities in the preparation of legislation and rules.

This legislation does not invalidate any state statute, resolution, or rule because it does not comply with this bill.

This legislation does not require the state to change any existing statutes unless they are opened for amendment.

Legislation similar to this bill have been passed in New York, Nevada, District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, and Minnesota. Several additional states have removed the term “mental retardation” from their Department and Division names.

What is People First Language?

The People First Language movement was born out of the Disability Rights Movement.
People with disabilities are the largest minority group in our nation. It encompasses people of all ages, genders, religions, ethnicities and socioeconomic levels.

People First Language puts the person before the disability.  

People First Language describes what a person has, not who a person is.

Call Your Senator or Representative Today

Tell Them Words have power and inaccurate descriptors such as “handicapped” or “mentally retarded” can perpetuate negative stereotypes and create societal and attitudinal barriers.  

Tell Them Using People First Language is the first step toward breaking down the negative stereotypes and social barriers that exist in our nation. This bill is an important first step toward recognizing in our state legislation the inherent worth and contributions of our states 1.8 million North Carolinians with disabilities.

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