STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – On Thursday, the Arizona House of Representatives unanimously passed HB 2667, a bill Rep. Stefanie Mach, D-Tucson (District 10), introduced that would replace the words handicapped and “disabled person” from state laws with more respectful language that the community prefers. The new language, “person or persons with disabilities,” will also appear on all materials the state produces in the future, such as signs that indicate parking for people with disabilities.
Mach is trying to change the way the state addresses people with disabilities. She survived a car accident in 1997, in which an electrical line shocked her, causing multiple injuries and the loss of an arm. She said as a person with a disability she understands the effect of dehumanizing words on a person or a group of people.
“Our laws should respect everyone in our state,” Mach said. “My bill changes the archaic and offensive words in statute and allows for people with disabilities to be seen as people who happen to have a physical or mental impairment, as opposed to being fully incompetent.”
The bill passed 57-0 and now goes to the Arizona Senate for consideration.