A Change in Terminology
“Rosa’s Law,” which Congress passed in October of 2010, replaced the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” in a number of federal laws. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has followed suit and made the same change in terminology in light of “Rosa’s Law,” even though Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act were not included in the law.
The change in terminology was motivated by heightened standards of political correctness and in order to avoid possible ambiguities and misconceptions caused by the term “mental retardation.”
The change became effective for the SSA as of September 3, 2013, and the term “intellectual disability” now appears in place of “mental retardation” in the SSA’s regulatory literature including the Listing of Impairments.