(a) Whenever the terms “the handicapped”, “handicap person”, or “handicapped person” are used in the general laws, they shall be replaced with the words “persons with disabilities” or “person with a disability,” inclusive, and whenever the term “handicap” is used in the general laws, it shall be replaced with the word “disability”; provided that this section shall not be applied retroactively but shall only be applied prospectively.

Terms Used In Rhode Island General Laws 43-3-7.1

(b) Whenever an act, resolution, statute, regulation, guideline, directive, or other document of a governmental entity refers to people with disabilities, terms that stigmatize, like “the handicapped”, “the disabled”, “the blind”, “the deaf”, “cerebral palsied”, “paralytic”, “epileptic”, “confined to a wheelchair”, “wheelchair bound”, “lunatic”, “idiot”, “defective”, “deformed”, “victim”, “suffers from”, etc., shall not be used. Language that puts the “person first”, rather than the impairment or assistive device, such as “person with a disability”, “child who has mental illness”, “worker who is deaf”, “voter who uses a wheelchair”, shall be used.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1996, ch. 287, § 2; P.L. 1999, ch. 83, § 122; P.L. 1999, ch. 130, § 122.)