On October 5th, President Obama signed a law called Rosa’s law as a tribute to a little 8 year old girl Rosa Marcellino that is intellectually disable; The law was first introduced in November of 2009.
This is the body of the law:
S. 2781, the “Rosa’s Law,” which changes references in many Federal statutes that currently refer to “mental retardation” to refer, instead, to “intellectual disability”.
People utter slurs as “You are such retard” all the time; some use it in a discriminatory manner and some use just because they think it is funny, the result is the same it is insensitive, ignorant, and simply mean as it does hurt people.
Being intellectually disabled is a minority class and like any other minorities is subject to slurs, prejudice, discrimination and bullying either at school or at work. The new law affects approximately 6 million Americans adults and children who are diagnosed with intellectual disabilities.
I wonder why this has not been thought about before, it did correct a wrong at least one of them.
In the beginning of the century, children like Rosa were looked down at as not worthy of interacting with what deemed to be normal people, in some cases they were even admitted.
In 1990 the ADA act outlawed discrimination in many forms against disable people including the intellectually disable.
I am so glad that this law finally passed, what amazes me is that I have heard people saying what is the big deal, to those I say: Would you have felt the same if they were your children called names and bullied?.
We are still in the dark ages when it comes to a lot of issues like bullying the gay kids, the kids that are different in color, appearance, religion, and race.
Do we have to pass a law for every single issue to wake people up from their insensitive comas, hopefully the happy fact of passing this law and the sad fact that 5 teen agers committed suicide due to bullying is a wake-up call for our nation, and our people.
The solution has always been and will always be awareness, and education, then awareness and education then again awareness and education. It is the responsibility of each one of us to fight prejudice and discrimination; it is up to us to correct a wrong.
A little girl and her family fought and pushed to pass a law as crucial as Rosa’s law, that could hopefully pave the way to other great laws and protection for minorities especially children.
Education should start from a very young age at pre-school level by the parents then coordinated with the schools.
It is the right of all human beings to exercise their human rights to live and be treated equally regardless of creed, race, religion, gender, sex orientation or physical and intellectual disabilities.
I dare to dream that this day will come, you may say I am a dreamer but I am not the only one (Homage to John Lennon).
Diversity starts at home,
Diversity Consultant – Social Media Strategist
Sahar Consulting, LLC.