A very strange bit of legal usage — in various Michigan statutes, for reasons that elude me, handicapped people were called “handicappers” from 1976 to 1998. I have seen no examples of this usage in statutes or cases outside Michigan; there, when “handicapper” is used at all, it’s used only in its standard dictionary sense of someone who handicaps races. The one exception outside Michigan was a 1984 Tennessee case that referred to “Handicappers, Inc. Day Training Center (the successor-name of the United Cerebral Palsy Day Training Center).” A Google search found a few references to “handicapper” to mean “handicapped person” outside the context of Michigan law, but very few. How this made its way into Michigan law, and nowhere else, I don’t know.

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