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New York State Assembly Bill A04375

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February 06, 2016

ADA Sign Depot

New York State Assembly Bill A04375

New York State passed legislation requiring government agencies to use person-first terminology, but most of the government agencies are unaware of the ruling. See A04375

A04375 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)

BILL NUMBER: A4375A

SPONSOR: Weisenberg (MS)

TITLE OF BILL:  An act relating to the use of certain language and
terminology when dealing with certain issues

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:  Section 1. Relating to the use of
certain language or terminology in legislation when referring to indi-
viduals with disabilities.

JUSTIFICATION: 

To avoid perpetuating this form of discrimination, it is necessary to
require the use of new terminology that puts the per40n before the disability, e.g., people with disabilities, rather than the disabled; adults
with mental illness, instead of the mentally ill.

When individuals or groups are identified only by their disability –
autistics or quadraplegics – all the thoughts, goals, feelings, talents
and abilities of a person become reduced to only one characteristic.
This bill requires language that refers to people with disabilities with
the same respect and dignity afforded those without disabilities.

The bill encourages public officials and lawmakers to avoid language
implying that a person as a whole is disabled (e.g., the learning disabled); equates persons with their conditions (e.g., epileptics); has negative overtones (e.g., afflicted with cerebral palsy); or is regarded as derogatory or demeaning (e.g., handicapped or mentally deficient).

By using the correct language in legislation, New York State lawmakers
can make a positive impact on how people with disabilities are perceived
by society.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:  2005: A.56l6 – Passed Assembly, Passed
Senate, Vetoed by Governor

2006: A.11476 – Rewritten to address concerns – Referred to Rules.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

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