My mom would always say there's a simple fix for making someone feel included and showing respect -- it's as easy as using a different word.
The 2014 Special Olympics USA National Games have just concluded and I applaud all of the event organizers, volunteers, supporters, and especially the athletes, for making this an amazing event.
While Sport for All does promote an inclusive message, an important dimension seems to be missing from the Sport for All mission that lies at the core purpose of Olympic Day and Sport for All -- all abilities.
Special Olympics is the quintessential social justice movement. There was a problem -- people with intellectual disabilities were marginalized and treated unfairly -- and now there is a solution.
I have been a volunteer tennis coach for the Special Olympics in Mercer County, New Jersey for over 10 years, and I can confidently say that it has been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of my life.
Many years later, as we are about to go on our second trip to the Special Olympics USA Games, my teammates truly understand the game of soccer.
We often use the word unique to describe something special; something that is without equal. But why is it when we use the term "unique" to describe a person, the connotation is often negative?
When my son and daughter were both born with Down syndrome, I knew the likelihood of receiving even one college acceptance letter may not be a reality. But the day John received his letter of acceptance from the Special Olympics I experienced the equivalent.
As a parent of a child with an intellectual disability, I have seen so many of my peers go down a road of despair and disappointment as they contemplate the future. The Special Olympics allowed me to choose a path filled with hope and potential.
New York State is one of only a handful of states that has not removed the archaic terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" from its laws. ...
Through her tears, she spoke about her son's intellectual disability and explained that her husband will not accept him because of his condition, "because in my country, the belief is that we did something wrong ... our son's condition is a curse."
My experience as a woman in sports and my relationship with Amy have both taught me so much about seeing the value of different, whether or not society is ready to acknowledge or embrace it.
I have been involved in sports, like track, cross-country and soccer for a long time because I enjoy playing them. But when I was growing up, I never felt like part of any team or group. I always felt like a loser, just because I was different.
Differences are what gave me confidence when I had to proudly show her off with a feeding tube, tiny eye contacts, little baby glasses and eye patches.
As a girl who has accomplished things that many didn't think were possible, I know that people can be wrong when they judge someone else just because they are different.
I was a very lucky child because, growing up, we didn't have a pool in our backyard.