2004 — A Charge We Have To Keep
A Road Map to Personal and Economic Freedom for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities in the 21st Century
- The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID)
- Publications, Annual Reports to the President
- Annual Reports
The 2004 Report to the President consists of a series of issues and recommendations for the people with intellectual disabilities: (1) Public Awareness, (2) Performance Management, (3) Educational and Transition, (4) Employment and Asset Development, (5) Family Services and Supports, and (6) Assistive Technology and Information. In addition, the report provides a brief historical review of progress for citizens with disabilities in our nation, some current statistics and estimates covering important key areas of concern for people with disabilities, and a chart depicting a complex disability maze of Federal programs, emphasizing the many challenges that exist in obtaining services and supports for people with intellectual disabilities in our nation. The report includes a colorful, pictorial, companion booklet developed especially for family members and consumers with intellectual disabilities.
A New Name and a New Century
The term "mental retardation" was coined many years ago to try to better describe a condition that many people have. Since then, attitudes about people with disabilities have changed to focus on abilities, personal growth, and how to improve independence. A new term was needed to reflect this change in attitudes. Perhaps more importantly, the term "mental retardation" has taken on negative connotations over the years. It has led to misunderstandings by adults, children, and the media about people who have intellectual disabilities and has resulted in the use of language that is often demeaning, hurtful, and humiliating to self-advocates and their families.
On July 25, 2003, in celebration of the 13th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 12994 as amended, continuing the work of the Committee, but renaming it the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID). With this Order, President Bush recognized that a new name and language make a difference in people's lives.
Windy Smith and Michael Rogers, self-advocate members of the PCPID, pushed for the name change to reflect a more human-focused approach:
"We talk about changing the way our government and communities see persons with intellectual disabilities…We should not hesitate to make a name change to start the process."
For these reasons, President Bush agreed with the Committee's recommendation that we needed to change our name. The name change is not just cosmetic. It signals a new beginning and a revitalization of the PCPID's mission in the 21st Century: to better recognize and uphold the right of all people with intellectual disabilities to enjoy a quality of life that promotes independence, self determination, and participation as productive members of society.
The goals of the President's Committee include: the assurance of full citizenship rights of people with intellectual disabilities; the provision of all necessary supports to individuals and families; the reduction of the occurrence and severity of intellectual disabilities; and the promotion of the widest dissemination of information of models, programs, and services within the field of intellectual disabilities.