Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signs bills eliminating derogatory disability language from state law

Stigmatized language no longer used to describe children with disabilities

Thursday, June 25, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Lt. Gov. Brian Calley today signed bills modernizing state law by eliminating outdated language that is now considered offensive when referring to children with disabilities.

“Michiganders with special needs deserve to be treated with respect and dignity everywhere, including within state law,” Calley said. “This is another step toward making sure individuals with disabilities have opportunities to succeed.”

House Bills 4203, 4204, 4205 and Senate Bills 112, 113 and 114, sponsored by state Reps. Mike Callton, Joe Graves and Andy Schor, and state Sens. Curtis Hertel, Jim Marleau and Margaret O’Brien, respectively, remove all offensive references to “crippled children” from state law. The references in law will now be described as “children or youth with special health care needs”

The bills are now Public Acts 89-94 of 2015.

Article V Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to sign legislation when the governor is out of state.

For more information on this and other legislation, visit legislature.michigan.gov.

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