By Bob Katzen 

   The Senate 36-0, approved a bill changing language in state laws including replacing “mentally retarded” with “individuals with a developmental disability” and “handicapped” with “disability.”

    Supporters said it is time to remove these outdated phrases from state law. They argued the words stigmatize people and said these changes would have a positive impact on many people’s lives.

The Senate also 36-0, approved a bill requiring the state’s Supplier Diversity Office to develop standards to identify and recruit qualified applicants with disabilities. The proposal also requires all state employees involved in hiring decisions to be trained and educated about the details of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Supporters said the unemployment rate for disabled persons is 80 percent. They noted the state should add disabled persons to its current laws that help veterans and minority and women-owned businesses.


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