SSA wants to stop calling people 'mentally retarded'

The agency seeks to replace the term with “intellectual disability” in impairment listings used to evaluate claims involving mental disorders in adults and children, according to a notice to be published in Monday’s Federal Register.

The term mental retardation, the agency argues, has gained negative connotations and has become “offensive to many people, and often results in misunderstandings about the nature of the disorder and those who have it,” the agency said in the notice.

The proposed change is meant to reflect the adoption of the intellectual disability phrasing in Congress and across other governmental and private organizations.

The public will have 30 days to comment, beginning Monday.