President Bush Changes PCMR To PCPID
- President Bush Changes PCMR To PCPID
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express http://www.InclusionDaily.com
July 25, 2003
WASHINGTON, DC--Friday morning, President George W. Bush marked the 13th
anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act by
removing the term "mental retardation" from the title of a long-standing
Bush signed an executive order changing the name of the President's
Committee on Mental Retardation (PCMR) to the President's Committee for
People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID).
"The committee recently voted to change the committee's name to the
President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and I was
pleased to sign an executive order instituting that change," Bush said as he
signed the order Friday, flanked by several committee members.
The president's order also deletes the words "mental retardation" from the
text of a 1996 executive order regarding the committee and replaces them
with "intellectual disabilities".
In 1961, President Kennedy first formed a President's Panel on Mental
Retardation to advise the president and the Secretary of Health and Human
Services on issues concerning mental disabilities. President Johnson
formally established the President's Committee on Mental Retardation in
1966. Members are appointed to the committee by the president.
Dropping "mental retardation" from the committee's name has been the focus
of some of its most recent appointees.
"I want the committee to change the name," committee member Michael Rogers
told me during an interview in March.
"It's number one on my agenda."
"People who have this disability are called 'retarded'," he said. "That's
like calling black people the 'n-word'."
"We shouldn't do it. Period."
Rogers, who is also a national co-chair of the self-advocacy organization
Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), acknowledged that changing the
name of the president's committee may be primarily a political move. What
will be more important, he noted, is if it reflects in a change in
policies -- particularly those having to do with funding of services for
people with intellectual disabilities.
"Sometimes small things are important," Rogers said.
The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed on July 26, 1990 by the
current president's father, George Herbert Walker Bush. The law granted
people with disabilities certain rights for employment, transportation,
housing, along with access to public buildings, goods and services.
"These are all welcome changes in American life," President George W. Bush
Related press photo:
White House News Release Photo of Signing
(Editor's note: Mike Rogers is seated to the right in your photo, on the
Distributed to this list by:
Dave Reynolds, Editor
Inclusion Daily Express / Inclusion Weekly Review
Disability Rights News Service