COLUMBUS, Ohio – All forms of the word “handicap” would be removed from the Ohio Revised Code and be replaced with “person(s) with a disability” or “access/accessible/accessibility,” under a bipartisan bill introduced by two central Ohio legislators recently.
“The word ‘handicap’ is offensive and can have a negative connotation for people who have disabilities. It’s outdated and ought not to be used in our state’s laws,” said Stinziano, a Columbus Democrat who introduced the bill along with state Rep. Cheryl Grossman, a Grove City Republican.
“It is important that we are cognizant of outdated references to Ohioans with disabilities. As we move forward, I am pleased to joint sponsor this legislation with proper reference to disabilities and accessibility,” said Grossman.
As a result of the urging of the members of the Self-Advocate Advisory Council of the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, this legislative language follows the lead of Franklin & Hamilton Counties and the city of Cincinnati whom already have passed resolutions to not use the word “handicapped” or any variation of the word in any new or replacement signage.
The legislation will seek to:
- Amend all uses and forms of the word “handicap” in the Revised Code when referring to a person(s) with a disability, to read, “person(s) with a disability.”
- Amend all uses and forms of the word “handicap” in the Revised Code when referring to a facility or parking space that accommodates a person(s) with a disability, to refer to that facility or parking space as “accessible.”
- Require that, going forward, all new and replacement signage in the state of Ohio that refers to a facility or parking space that accommodates a person(s) with a disability must refer to that facility or parking space as “accessible.”
- There will be NO costs to comply with this legislation as it will be prospectively.
The bill is expected to be assigned to a standing committee for further study.