Lots of talk about physical disabilities on July 26th. Is Intellectual Disability forgotten?
On July 26th,2012, Ashley Counts and I represented Special Olympics International at the Eisenhower Executive Building where we were celebrating the 22nd Anniversary of the American Disability Act with a panel of representatives invited by the White House to share their accomplishments and challenges promoting and securing the rights of people with disabilities.
We listened very carefully to every speaker and were a little astonished that none of them spoke about the needs of people like Ashley and me who have intellectual disabilities. Encouraged by Ashley, I raised my hand: "I have not heard you speak about Intellectual Disabilities and am wondering how it is being represented in the President's agenda" There was lots of silence in the room. Eyes turned and finally Kareem Dale responded that work is underway with a bipartisan representation with Senator Tom Harkin and Congresswoman Cathy Mc-Morris Rodgers. Valerie Jarret closed the session and chatted with Ashley and me. I hope we had an impact on the session and from now on, they will not forget people with intellectual disabilities.
I am an Athlete from Area 26 in Vienna, Virginia. I love Special Olympics and serve as a Global Messenger. I love sports. I am a swimmer, tennis and ping pong player. I compete in Soccer, Basketball,and Softball. I also love to talk about the "Dignity Revolution" that Tim Shriver is promoting.