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July 1, 2018

Why does the PTAC site make reference to "mental retardation”?

The PASRR Final Rule (57 FR 56450) was published in 1992, at which time the term "mental retardation" was still widely used. In the time since the PASRR Final Rule was published, the term "intellectual disability" has come to replace "mental retardation" in most state laws.

Since the passage of "Rosa's Law" in 2010, the term "intellectual disability" must replace "mental retardation" in all federal language. Since the federal PASRR regulations have not been revised since their publication in 1992, the PASRR Final Rule continues to use the term "mental retardation”. However, the online version of the Code of Federal Regulations now uses "intellectual disability." PTAC adheres to the requirements of Rosa's Law and uses the phrase "intellectual disability” on the website wherever possible.

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