In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare asked, “What's in a name?” That is an apt question for the American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR) and a suitable introduction to our article. We begin by addressing three major objections to a change in the name of AAMR and in the terminology now titled mental retardation. (We acknowledge that these issues are related but not identical, as we point out later.) These objections are as follows:

We conclude by proposing a long-term agenda to preserve these and other rights, entitlements, and supports to enhance the lives of individuals with mental retardation and their families and to embed any change of terminology and Association name within the larger agenda.

Let us first consider the objections related to stigma and the Voice of the Retarded. (We join the other authors in addressing the policy agenda in a later discussion.)...

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