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Teens and college students are the future leaders of Special Olympics.
It's the mission of Special Olympics to show the world the capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
We have more than 5.3 million athletes with intellectual disabilities and unified partners around the world.
Our celebrity supporters are Olympians, professional athletes, social leaders, and movie and music stars.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a pioneer in the struggle for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities.
Direction for our movement comes from leaders in government, entertainment, sports and business.
All adults and children with intellectual disabilities can become Special Olympics athletes. Here's how.
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Make a Difference
I am taking the pledge for my son and all his new friends with SOKY. My son has missing chromosome 22q, genetic disorder. Let's get rid of this word...!!!
I work at a school in Cynthiana Kentucky and just yesterday I heard a student use that horrible dreaded r word.
Hello, my name is Hayden Redmon. I'm a Special Olympics athlete and I just graduated to be a Special Olympics Athlete Ambassador.
Lee Ann Flener
My son was born with Down syndrome on Jan. 1, 2016. I have heard the r-word used several times in my life and haven't really thought much about it.
Not everyone is the same. Everyone has their own abilities where not all are the same. God didn't make things the same for a reason.
Michelle Parke Doty
Jeremy Simpson USA Games 2014
I've been in Special Olympics all my life and I've been in Bowling for 16 years and in 2014, I made it to the USA Games and met a lot of new friends.
I have worked with people with special needs for years now and every single one of them have changed my life. They are the happiest, most inspirational people I have ever met.
Jared Travis Domaschko
I am currently 17 & in high school. For as long as I can remember, I've always been able to tell if someone had a special need, even if it isn't obvious. Ever since I could say "baby doctor", I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician.
my sister in law had seizures and because of them her brain was affected. she had pneumonia and was on a ventilator. I was staying with her when the family doctor came in to talk to us. he used this word and she heard it.
This year Kentucky Wesleyan College's KEA-SP organization has gathered individuals from local disabilities services to represent students and adults with disabilities and to speak about their experience with the R word.
There is no difference between you and me or anybody else, we all think, eat, sleep, and have feelings.. We all live life, we all need help, just some others needs little extra help, but that's ok.
I was called the r word a lot in school i felt loney sad and i felt like i was not loved
One of my cousins has autism. For my whole life, I have learned something new about him everyday. I want to make sure that no one will ever call him the r-word.
I have 2 daughters. My oldest is studying to be a teacher. My youngest is special needs. she is a miracle in progress.
At one time, I taught religious education classes at my church. One year I had a student who was acting goofy in class and ended up falling out of his chair. Another boy in the class told him that he was being retarded. I stopped class right there.
I grew up in a household where my mother taught middle school students and my father helped adults with special needs. I was surrounded by all these people with "special needs" and grew to love them as my own.
I'm just a teenage girl, but in my hallways at school I hear the people call many people many names including the r-word.
WAVE 3 News: by Connie Leonard
My heart broke when I heard it. There I was, sitting there watching a Lunch ‘n Learn on my laptop, when it dropped like a bomb—the R-word.
Susan Stites (Best Buddies FC Advisor)
Kay Carney Hunter
Rick Oney, an Alpine skier for SO Team USA, competed in running marathons also. The D.C. Special Olympics in conjunction with the Marine Corps Marathon encouraged distance running by SO athletes.