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Disability language bill awaiting Gov. Jan Brewer’s pen

PHOENIX — A bill that would change the way Arizona refers to people with disabilities is awaiting Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature.

The bill would replace such terms as “disabled” on things like parking signs and state statutes.

“It changes it to ‘a person with disability,'” said Rep. Stefanie Mach, the bill’s sponsor, who lost her arm in a car accident when she was a teenager.

She especially wants to get rid of the term “handicapped.”

“I know that a lot of people in the disability community feel that the word is offensive and archaic,” Mach said. “It harkens us back to a time when we used to institutionalize people who had mental or physical impairments.”

The bill sailed through the state Legislature.

“I’m really proud of my colleagues,” Mach said. “(They) unanimously passed it throughout the House and the Senate in every committee.”

Mach is confident Brewer will sign the bill.

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