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Alabama drops 'Retardation' from department name

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama has dropped the phrase "mental retardation" from the official title of the state agency that assists the mentally ill and disabled.

The Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation is now the Department of Mental Health on its Web page.

The Legislature this year approved a measure dropping the phrase, and
Gov. Bob Riley signed the bill May 14.

Commissioner John Houston said the department welcomed the change because the old terminology carries a stigma.

The department renamed its Division of Mental Retardation Services to the Division of Intellectual Disability Services last year.

But it took legislation to change the name since the agency was named in state law.

The legislation also replaces references to "mentally retarded" with "people with an intellectual disability."


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