2021 Code of Alabama
Title 29 - Legislature.
Chapter 5A - Legislative Services Agency
Article 2 - Legal Division
Section 29-5A-25 - References to Individuals With Disabilities.
References to individuals with disabilities.
(a) The Legislature recognizes that language used in reference to individuals with disabilities shapes and reflects society's attitudes towards people with disabilities. Many of the terms currently used diminish the humanity and natural condition of having a disability. Certain terms are demeaning and create an invisible barrier to inclusion as equal community members. The Legislature finds it necessary to clarify preferred language for new and revised laws by requiring the use of terminology that puts the person before the disability.
(b) The Legal Division is directed to avoid all references to: Disabled, developmentally disabled, mentally disabled, mentally ill, mentally retarded, handicapped, cripple, crippled, deaf-mute, deaf-dumb, dumb, and mute in any new statute or resolution and to change such references when appropriate in any existing statute or resolution as sections and provisions including these references are otherwise amended by law.
(c) The Legal Division is directed to replace terms referenced in subsection (b) in the Code of Alabama 1975, when such replacement is appropriate with the following revised terminology: Individuals with disabilities, individuals with developmental disabilities, and individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
(d)(1) No statute or resolution is invalid because the statute or resolution is not in compliance with this section.
(2) No statute or resolution is invalid because of a change in terminology implemented by the Legal Division under this section.
(e) Changes in terminology shall not be made by the Legal Division if such change may legally impair the statute or its implementation or interpretation.
(f)(1) All action of an administrative agency creating new rules or amending existing rules shall be formulated in accordance with this section.
(2) No agency rule is invalid because the rule is not in compliance with this section.
(Act 2017-214, §1.)