Sunday, June 28, 2009

Action Alert: People First Bill Scheduled for House Vote! Call Your Representative Monday!!

Action Alert: Take Action Today.

Call Your North Carolina General Assembly Representative Today! Tell them to vote YES for the Senate Bill 208: People First.

On Thursday, June 25, 2009 Senate Bill 208: People First passed the House Health Committee. The full House will vote on this bill Monday, June 29, 2009. 

We need you to call your Representative Monday, June 29th!! Tell Them To Vote Yes for Senate Bill 208: People First!

Background What the Bill Does:
This bill directs the Legislative Services Office to incorporate into its drafting training of legislative drafters the preference to avoid language that implies that a person as a whole is disabled, equates a person with his or her condition, or is regarded as derogatory or demeaning.

To avoid any unintended consequences of altering existing legislation or creating legislation that would be in conflict with existing legislation; this bill will direct the General Statues Commission to recommend to the 2010 reconvened session of the General Assembly and to the 2011 Regular Session of the General Assembly any statutory changes and drafting policies needed to make the General Statutes and administrative rules refer to a person with a disability as a person first.

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.

Call Your Representative! Tell Them:
Tell Your Representative:

* This legislation was brought to the General Assembly by the Association of Self Advocates North Carolina, a non profit organization supports the concepts of self-advocacy together with self-determination of its members to help people with developmental disabilities take responsibility for their lives, and bring about change towards full inclusion in society.

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

* People First Language puts the person before the disability. People First Language describes what a person has, not who a person is. 

* 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.

* That this legislation will become the model bill for states trying to address changes in drafting legislation using People First language.

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