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Archive for July 15th, 2016

Two Bills Update ORC on Developmental Disabilities

Fountain PenOhio’s governor signed two bills yesterday, July 14, 2016, that are significant victories for disability rights advocates. The first bill, HB 158 removes the phrase “mental retardation” and its derivations from the Ohio Revised Code and replaces it with “intellectual disability.” Advocates say that it was long past time for Ohio to remove the negative and offensive R-word, and use a more respectful phrase that acknowledges personal dignity.

The bill specifies that “intellectual disability” is included in the meaning of “developmental disability.” Additionally, under current law, the determination of whether a person has a moderate level of intellectual disability and could be subject to institutionalization by court order followed standards set in the Manual of Terminology and Classification in Mental Retardation, dating from the 1970s. The new law modifies this determination to follow standards established in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, published in 2013.

The second bill, HB 483,  contains several provisions related to programming and healthcare services for Ohioans with disabilities. The bill provides for expansion of an early intervention program for children with developmental disabilities, and allows medical staff that are not nurses to provide more direct care services.