Rosa’s Law and HB 1481

What did Rosa’s Law do?

When Rosa’s law was passed in January 2010 the term “mental retardation” was removed in federal laws and regulations and the term “intellectual disabilities” was inserted.   The bill in full can be accessed by clicking here.

What does HB 1481 do?

HB 1481 replaces the term “persons with mental retardation” to “persons with intellectual disabilities.” The terminology has also been replaced in Section 4. Subchapter C, Chapter 7 of the Education Code and has been amended to read as follows:

Sec.7.063. PERSON FIRST RESPECTFUL LANGUAGE PROMOTION –   The commissioner shall ensure that the agency uses the terms and phrases listed as preferred under the person first respectful language initiative in Chapter 392, Government Code, when proposing, adopting, or amending the agency’s rules, reference materials, publications, and electronic media.

To read HB 1481 click here

What has already changed?

The Student Attendance Accounting Handbook has already changed and replaced the term “mental  retardation” with “intellectual disability.”  

PEIMS Code 06 will replace ‘Mental Retardation” with “Intellectual Disability” in the 2011-12 Data Standards as soon as possible.

The Legal Framework has updated the Mental Retardation Framework and it will become Intellectual Disability Framework.  This update has not been posted but will be as soon as possible.

What has not changed?

Please Note that this revised terminology has not been incorporated in 19 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 89, Subchapter AA, Commissioner’s Rules Concerning Special Education Services, as of the publication date of this handbook. This change will be considered upon the next revision of the Commissioner’s rules.

Mental Health Mental Retardation (MHMR)  has not changed the terminology they are using at this time. 

What does this mean for you?

Districts should begin using “person first respectful language.”  Students should be referred to as students with intellectual disabilities and not mentally retarded students or students with mental retardation. 

Districts should avoid references to mentally ill, developmentally disabled, or disabled and refer to person or students with:  mental illness, developmental disabilities, disabilities.

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