Special Olympics: Creating a Global Movement of Inclusion

Special Olympics: Creating a Global Movement of Inclusion


>>As Seattle gets
ready to welcome the 2018 Special
Olympics USA Games, we all have an important
role to play in creating a region of inclusion
that welcomes everyone. The games could be
a galvanizing force for greater awareness and appreciation of what people with intellectual disabilities
can contribute.>>We recently caught
up with Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics
to learn more about the history behind the games
including how his mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver,
turned her vision into the world’s foremost movement
empowering people with disabilities to
show up and be seen.>>Your family is deeply involved in
the Special Olympics, can you tell us how
it got started?>>The Special Olympics Movement
was started in Chicago, 1968 was the first games
with a thousand people with intellectual challenges
on the field claiming to be Olympic, to be the best of humanity, exactly the opposite of
what the world had seen. That moment in time had its roots in the history
of my mother’s family, one of her sister, Rosemary, her older sister, was born with an
intellectual disability. They grew up, my mom did
especially with love of her sister understanding of the need in some ways
to be protective, but also with kind of
a fierce determination to change the culture
that was around them, which did not include
their sister. There were no schools, there were no healthcare institutions, there were no
rehabilitation programs, there were no employment
support, there was nothing. My mom’s genius was to
think we could use sports, we could do what is so intuitive and natural
to all of us, would just play together
and by doing so we might actually shift the culture to emphasize inclusion
for everybody, the dignity of each human being.>>Today, all of you young
athletes are in the arena. Many of you will win, but even more important
I know you will be brave and bring credit to your parents and
to your country. Let us begin
the Olympics. Thank you.>>So, one of the mottos is “it’s so much more than sports.” Can you talk about that and
what the games mean to you?>>We don’t just do sports, but we do inclusive
early childhood, inclusive schools,
inclusive health programs, we are the largest
public health program in the world for people with
intellectual disabilities. We teach what we call
inclusive leadership. What would it look like
to become a leader if you knew and understood
the experiences of those on the margins, which is the gift
our special needs athletes bring to their peers
into the culture. I’d like us to think
that every school in America would have a Special Olympics
Unified Sports Team. Let’s celebrate the fact
that sports can be a platform where everybody can claim their value not their label of
whatever separates us, but their value as a
contributing member of society.>>Can you tell us a little bit
about how the games grew and evolved over
the course of 50 years?>>It’s an amazing story Brad, it’s a story really
mostly of volunteerism. When we think of having
five or six million athletes involved in the
movement every year, 99 percent of our
workforce is volunteers at civic organizations,
faith-based institutions, corporate partners who give
their people the chance, really the privilege
of volunteering. That’s the story of our movement. First, one country then 10, then 20, then 30, today 172 countries have independent Special
Olympics organizations, 110,000 games a year
in little villages, in the developing world, and big cities like Seattle. These games are
all invitations for us to come together to see in
someone else goodness, possibility, where maybe in the past you’d seen
something different. That’s no longer a person with a disability, it’s a point guard. All of a sudden our hearts open to some basic human value, I think that’s quite powerful.>>As the premier partner
for these USA games, Microsoft is proud to join with Special Olympics in bringing our region together to create more inclusive communities
where everyone is welcome. Find out how you can get involved by going to
specialolympicsusagames.org.

7 Replies to “Special Olympics: Creating a Global Movement of Inclusion”

  1. Eunice Kennedy Shriver created the Special Olympics in 1968 in Chicago and began a global "inclusion revolution." Dramatic changes in our culture started to occur thanks to her work and that of her son, Tim Shriver, chairman of Special Olympics. Thanks for the inclusive leadership and sponsorship by accessibility leaders at Microsoft too!

  2. I HAVE PROBLEM MENTIONING HOW I WANT TIM SHRIVER TO GET CAPPED OFF FOR THIS CLAIM OF THIS SO CALLED INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY , BECAUSE OF THIS POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, & YES I DO WISH WHAT I MENTIONED AGAINST FOR LOVE, & THE GLORY OF MICHAEL REAGAN, BECAUSE EVERYONE KNOWS THAT SPECIAL OLYMPICS IS BULLSHIT! YES I AM STATING THIS EXACTLY ABOUT THIS SO CALLED UNIFIED, BECAUSE IT IS A BIG BLATANT LIE!

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