Vermont (USA)

Vermont recently enacted legislation to reverse demeaning stereotypes, change negative attitudes, and cultivate a culture of respect toward persons with disabilities.  The new law replaces offensive statutory terms with language that recognizes persons as opposed to their disabilities. Changes in terminology made in the law “are merely meant to reflect evolving attitudes toward persons with disabilities.”


One thought on “Vermont (USA)”

  1. Hmmmm… Interesting. So disabled persons are no longer disabled? They are just persons?

    I hope this is a positive step for them, and does not prevent the ability of persons with a disability from voicing their specific needs and ensuring those needs are fairly and promptly addressed.

    I do have concerns at how this precedent may impact others, though. Specifically, I am concerned for women and girls, the largest, and most historically oppressed political class.

    When will I quit being called a woman and instead recognized as a person who is read as a woman? Once I am a person (who is read derp derp derp…), and no longer a member of a biological sex class, will I really BE a person, a person who is equal in all ways to other persons, even those who identify as a man? Specifically, as a white man? Even better, as a young, educated, wealthy white man? Will I be a person then? Because I certainly don’t feel as though I am presently seen as a person, a human being.

    Words matter. Words are what enable us to communicate with each other, to express ideas. The use of common descriptors ensure we all understand fully the ideas being communicated, their impact on our society, and allow us to discuss optimal solutions.

    I fully support respect and dignity for all people. But we need to ensure changes to language do not obscure the very real obstacles many of us struggle to overcome. We must be able to name the basis of our oppression in order to eliminate the discriminatory actions of others towards us.

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