Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Couple Removes Sign Targeting Teenage Neighbor
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 24, 2006

NEPHI, UTAH--A couple in this small town have removed from their yard a sign that targeted a young teenager with disabilities after the local police chief had a talk with them.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Kallie and Darren Galbraith hung a sign from a tree in their yard last Wednesday that read "CAUTION, RETARD'S IN AREA." The couple said they posted the sign to warn others that 13-year-old Colton Heaton, who has autism and other developmental disabilities, lived in the neighborhood. The Galbraiths claimed Colton sometimes wandered the neighborhood, had entered homes without permission, and took things from residents. They also claimed the boy threw rocks at their 10-year-old daughter last fall, injuring her knee and elbow.

Colton's mother, Carrie Heaton, said she was surprised at the sign, and denied that her son has caused any problems in the neighborhood.

"He can't read the sign," she said of her son. "But everyone else can. This not only affects him, but all the special-needs people who live in Nephi, Juab County and Utah."

Nephi Police Chief Chad Bowles said the Galbraiths took down the sign after he visited their home on Friday.

"We talked to them. I think they understood by using that type of wording they made a mistake," he said. "It's so degrading and it ridicules the [boy's] family."

Fraser Nelson, director of the Disability Law Center, said: "We have a tolerance for that kind of language that we don't have for other derogatory terms."

She added: "If the sign said, 'Caution, blacks living here,' or 'Caution, Jews living here,' people would respond to it in a very direct way."

Related:
"Neighbor's offensive sign targets autistic teen" (Salt Lake Tribune)

http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_4082374
"Autistic teen sign removed" (Salt Lake Tribune)
http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_4085460

---

©2016 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email: admin.dd@state.mn.us   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.