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Following Sacco Affair, New NT Legislators From NT Seek to Scrub 'R' Word From Books

Niagara County officials have noted the kerfuffle surrounding Democratic leader James Sacco's use of the word "retard" on line, and a pair of new legislators from North Tonawanda set out to "eradicate the 'R' word in our community."

Legislators Richard L. Andres (R-North Tonawanda) and Randy R. Bradt (I-North Tonawanda) have written a resolution that will be voted on tonight that condemns the use of "pejorative terms derived" from the "R" word and instructs the county government to immediately change the name of an outdated government board, the county's Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Subcommittee.

If the Andres-Bradt resolution passes, the board will be renamed the Subcommittee for People with Developmental Disabilities. That bill also would require county government department heads running agencies like the county's mental health department and the social services bureaucracy to eliminate use of the terms "mentally retarded," "mental retardation," and the like.

"We're using clinical terms that date to the 1950s," Andres, a public school teacher, said. "These words are out-of-date and out-of-touch-and no longer used by professionals in the mental health field."

Andres said his goal in introducing the resolution was not to comment directly on the Sacco matter, but rather that "county government needs to lead by example."



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Jan 21, 2014