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Special Education: Intellectual Disability

"Intellectual Disability" vs. "Mental Retardation"


Increasingly, the term intellectual disability is being used instead of mental retardation. In 2010, President Barack Obama signed “Rosa’s Law” which changed “mental retardation” to “intellectual disability” in US federal law. Inspired by nine year-old Rosa Marcellino, the law was a key component in the groundswell of advocacy efforts promoting inclusive, people-first language for people with intellectual disabilities.




On the Shelf at CCBC Libraries

Other Useful Guides

Streaming Videos


Websites on Intellectual Disabilities

Online from CCBC Libraries

Open Resources