This Sunday, July 26, marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act which ensures the civil rights of people with disabilities. As part of this celebration Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 4049 into law, a Rockford RAMP legislation.
This bill removes antiquated language from current state statutes in Illinois and replaces those terms with Person First Language. For example, the law changes all occurrences of "the physically handicapped" to "persons with physical disabilities."
This bill was brought to local State Representative John M. Cabello (R-Machesney Park) by a local RAMP education and advocacy coordinator, Eric Brown.
Brown states, "What we always tell people is my disability doesn't define me it is just a part of who I am so by using Person First Language my disability become just a part of who I am instead of the definition of who I am."
House Bill 4049 is more than 2,000 pages in length and passed unanimously throughout the Illinois House of Representatives and Illinois Senate.