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We don't call people 'disabled' any more, we call them 'people with disabilities'. It sounds trite, but it puts the focus back on defining them as people, rather than by their disability. A bit like the difference between 'a black programmer' and 'a programmer who is black'.

The 'retarded' thing fell out of favour because it was heavily used as a pejorative, which doesn't help people who actually are retarded. When I was in neurology over a decade ago, the term had changed to 'developmentally delayed', as in, hadn't hit the mental milestones that a kid of that age should have hit. I loathed that term, because while most parents knew (or were told) to interpret that as 'old-fashioned retarded', to some parents it sounds like the kid is just delayed, and given enough time, will catch up. Some kids do, and at better rates than in ye olde days, but plenty of them don't.

I find it interesting that you chose to analogize "disability" with "black"...

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