Shumlin to sign respectful language act

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MONTPELIER (AP) - Gov. Peter Shumlin will be signing an act requiring respectful language for referring to people with disabilities in all Vermont laws.

Several disability advocacy groups assessed language in existing statutes and worked on replacement phrases with lawmakers.

The bill replaces phrases like "mental retardation" with "intellectual disability" in Vermont's laws, and removes archaic references to idiots and imbeciles.

In many other instances, the language was changed to put the phrase "persons with" before various conditions, as in "persons with disabilities."

Kyle Moriarty, a person with autism who worked on the bill says it's a step toward equality for people with disabilities since "language and the treatment of people with disabilities go hand in hand."

Shumlin was scheduled to sign the act at 11 a.m. Friday at the Statehouse.


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