Disclaimer: The language used to describe people with developmental disabilities has changed over the past 50 years. In the earlier decades of this time period, terms and language that are now considered disrespectful and offensive, were acceptable.
As our field and society have come to recognize and urge the use of "people first" language and more respectful words to describe people with disabilities in spoken and written language, terms such as "retarded", "handicapped", "trainable", and "educable" have been replaced in many instances.
The remnants of what is now considered unacceptable language and terms may still be found in references to official governmental bodies (i.e. President's Panel on Mental Retardation), organizations that were founded during these earlier years, federal laws, reports (i.e. Community Residences for Mentally Retarded Persons), case law, and quotations.