Agency Drops "Retarded" From Name; VOR Disapproves
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 22, 2003
GARY, INDIANA--Nearly everyone was celebrating Wednesday as the Lake County Association for the Retarded officially changed its name from LCAR to BRIDGES.
"This represents what we really are," explained Dick McClaughry, a member of the committee that decided on the name change.
"We wanted something different to start a new day . . . a new millennium," said director Kris Prohl.
All across North America, organizations are dropping the word "retarded" from their names, titles and vocabulary. The Arc of the United States, formerly The Association of Retarded Citizens, recently decided to remove the word from its mission statement. There are even rumors that the President's Council on Mental Retardation is considering a new name that more accurately reflects society's changing attitudes toward people with disabilities.
One group that is displeased with BRIDGES' new name is the Voice of the Retarded. VOR actively supports keeping people with developmental disabilities housed in institutional settings, and has blocked measures to provide more community-based services across the country. The organization refuses to drop the "R" word from its name, ignoring pleas from people who feel insulted by the word.
Ironically, VOR director Tamie Hopp told the Northwest Indiana Times that attitudes -- not names -- are what must be changed.
"Local agency removes 'retarded' from name" (Northwest Indiana Times)
"Who speaks for you?" (Cartoon from Mouth Magazine)