Murt Praises Passage of ‘Words Do Matter’ Bill
HARRISBURG-- Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery/Philadelphia) joined a unanimous House in passing the so-called “Words Do Matter” bill, which strikes the phrase “mental retardation” from state statutes and state use.

The legislation, which passed the Senate in June, goes to Gov. Tom Corbett for his signature.

“This will go a long way to eradicating the stigma that has become attached to words like ‘mental retardation,’” Murt said.

The bill amends the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966 to rename it the Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Act of 1966. The term “mental retardation” would also be replaced with “intellectual disabilities” in all state communications, including publications and websites.

“By instead using the term ‘intellectual disability’ we are changing society's perception of these individuals,” Murt said. “The term ‘intellectual disability’ recognizes not only needs, but the unique strengths and abilities of individuals with intellectual disabilities.”

The federal government, as well as many states, has already updated its department titles and publications with more appropriate terms.

State Representative Thomas Murt
152nd District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Rep. Murt’s Office 
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