Rep. Jarrells to introduce legislation that will remove derogatory terminology in the Ohio Revised Code

Rep. Dontavius L. Jarrells (D-Columbus)

Says all Ohioans should be treated with kindness, dignity, and respect

COLUMBUS—Rep. Dontavius L. Jarrells (D-Columbus) will be introducing legislation removing additional derogatory language within the state’s code. This legislation will be continuation of the work started by House Bill 158 in the 131st General Assembly, which replaced references to “mentally retarded person” in the Ohio Revised Code.

Currently, Ohio Revised Code still includes language such as “idiot,” “deaf and dumb,” “mentally retarded,” “lunatics,” “mental defective,” “crippled child/children,” “derangement,” and “handicapped.” 

“These antiquated terms are rooted in historical trauma, resulting in unnecessary harm for people with disabilities, their families, and advocacy organizations,” said Rep. Jarrells. “All Ohioans deserve to be treated with kindness, dignity, and respect. This legislation ensures the Ohio Revised Code reflects those values,” Rep. Jarrells explained.

This legislation will replace terms related to people with disabilities and updates statutory provisions relating to assistance dogs, braille teacher standards, the Children with Medical Handicaps Program, and accessible parking spaces.

The implementation of this bill could not have happened without the collaboration and support from advocates in the disability, deaf, mental health, and victim services communities:

Mental Health America of Ohio
National Alliance on Mental Illness Ohio
Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities
Ohio Association of County Boards
Ohio Association of the Deaf
Ohio Peer Recovery Organizations
Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council
People First of Ohio
Pro Seniors, Inc.

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