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Governor Daugaard Signs Bill Deleting Offensive Terms

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PIERRE – South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed a bill updating language in state laws referring to people with intellectual disabilities.

The governor says the bill eliminates outdated and offensive references in state law such as “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded.”

When the law takes effect July 1, new language will use terms such as “intellectual disability” and “individual with an intellectual disability.”

Daugaard says South Dakota needs to join a nationwide movement to promote respectful language. He says the bill promotes the dignity and humanity of South Dakotans with intellectual disabilities.

State Human Services Secretary Laurie Gill says changing offensive language in state law is a major step toward honoring the dignity of people with intellectual disabilities.

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