The House of Representatives is expected to vote as early as Wednesday evening on a bill to replace the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” in many areas of federal government.
The legislation known as Rosa’s Law was approved by the Senate in August. Under the bill, terminology would be altered in federal health, education and labor policy.
The House is widely expected to pass the measure when it is brought up later this week alongside several other bills that are considered uncontentious under a suspension of the rules. This means that there will be limited debate and a simplified voting procedure.
If Rosa’s Law does gain House approval, it will go to President Barack Obama, who supports the measure. “He looks forward to signing it into law after the House passes it,” a White House official told Disability Scoop on Monday.
Under the bill, individuals with disabilities would retain the same rights they currently have, but terminology would be swapped as laws and documents come up for revision over the next several years. As a result, Rosa’s Law is not expected to incur any cost.
Nearly all states and some federal agencies already use the term “intellectual disability.”