Executive Order

Executive Order No. 521: Renaming the Governor's Commission on Mental Retardation to be the Governor’s Commission on Intellectual Disability

Date: 03/31/2010
Issuer: Deval L. Patrick
Mass Register: No. 1154

Whereas, there is a strong trend, nationally and internationally, to use the term "intellectual disability" rather than mental retardation, based on the recognition that the term intellectual disability is preferred by individuals with disabilities and considered a less offensive term that is more consistent with promoting dignity and respect for people with disabilities;

Whereas, there is a clear trend away from the use of the term "mental retardation" by state agencies dedicated to serving individuals with intellectual disability, as demonstrated by the fact that only two states still use the term "mental retardation" in their titles;

Whereas, as a result of active engagement and input from self-advocates, particularly those with intellectual disability, who believed that changing the name of the Department of Mental Retardation to the Department of Developmental Services was a key step in promoting dignity and respect for people with disabilities, the General Court enacted Chapter 182 of the Acts of 2008 to effect that name change;

Whereas, on July 1, 2009 the name of the Department of Mental Retardation was changed to the Department of Developmental Services;

Whereas, the Department of Developmental Services changed its regulations to make the term "intellectual disability" synonymous with mental retardation and eliminated all references to "mental retardation" in its regulations;

Whereas, based upon all of the reasons set forth above, and in its role as enhancing the well-being of people with intellectual disability in the Commonwealth, on January 27, 2010, the Governor's Commission on Mental Retardation voted unanimously in favor of requesting that the Governor re-name the Commission to be the "Governor's Commission on Intellectual Disability."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution of Massachusetts, Part 2, c. 2, § 1, Art. 1, do hereby re-name the Governor's Commission on Mental Retardation to be the Governor's Commission on Intellectual Disability. In all other respects, the provisions of Executive Order 507, reestablishing the Governor's Commission, shall remain in full force and effect.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 31st day of March in the year two thousand and ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and thirty-four.

Deval Patrick
Governor
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth

Downloads for No. 521: Renaming the Governor's Commission on Mental Retardation to be the Governor’s Commission on Intellectual Disability

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