The House gave preliminary approval Thursday to removing virtually all references in state laws to people who are “handicapped” or “disabled.”

HB 2667 replaces that with “persons with disabilities.”

“It’s a simple but powerful change,” said Rep. Stefanie Mach, D-Tucson. “And language is the first place to start.”

Mach is a survivor of a car accident when she was a teen, which left her scarred and missing an arm.

Rep. John Allen, R-Scottsdale, supported the change. He said the term “handicapped” derives from people who would stand near a corner, cap in hand, and hope passers-by would put money into it. He said it is wrong to define people with disabilities as being beggars.

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