Lawmakers Remove Words 'Disabled,' 'Handicapped' From State Statutes

By  KJZZ News
April 22, 2014

State lawmakers have given final approval to changing the language of state statutes to remove words some consider offensive.

State Rep. Stephanie Mach, who lost an arm and was severely burned in a traffic accident as a teen, says the term "handicapped" definitely has to go.

“It has come to be known as a person who hands out their cap, in other words, a beggar, and a lot of people just feel that's offensive,” Mach said. “They don't want to be known as beggars when they do, again, contribute a lot to society.”        

Mach says the changes will help people with physical and mental impairments become fully contributing members of society.

The legislation now goes to the governor.

It requires the removal of words like "disabled" and "handicapped" from all state laws. They would be replaced with what Mach sees as a more positive phrase, “people with disabilities.”