Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tony Orlando opens research unit, drops clanger

The University Of Iowa opened a new diabetes research unit yesterday, and amongst the great and good turning up to the ribbon cutting was Tony Orlando, out of Tony Orlando and Dawn. Presumably a yellow ribbon cutting.

In preparation, Radio Iowa invited Orlando to talk about his connection with diabetes:

In a phone interview with Radio Iowa from his home in Branson, Missouri, Orlando was asked if any members of his family had diabetes.

“My mother did,” Orlando says. “My mother passed away and she had probably what we know as a diabetic stroke two Februarys ago.” The 70-year-old Orlando grew up in the Hell’s Kitchen area of New York City and says he learned early on about the difficulties that came with physical and psychological impairments.
That's interesting, Tony. Maybe you could tell us some more about that?
“My sister had cerebral palsy and was mentally retarded and at a very young age, I knew when there were health challenges in the family,” Orlando says. “It’s a very important part of the support system to have help.”
Your sister was... what?

You're right, Tony, that, yes, support is important. But you know what else is important? Not using outdated, offensive language that people are campaigning hard to dissociate from being used to describe disabilities.