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The Special Olympics started out as a venture in Eunice Kennedy Shriver's backyard in the early ‘60s. By 1968, there were 40 locations where children with disabilities could go to play sports—this is when the Special Olympics was born. Special Olympics is a nonprofit organization that has turned global. It now has a presence in almost 200 countries, and with seven world-region offices, it is still expanding in order to reach more children with disabilities.
The Special Olympics allows children with disabilities to participate in sport activities that they would otherwise not be able to participate in. This gives the children a sense of accomplishment and acceptance—they participate in athletic events, just as everyone else does. Special Olympics also provides free healthcare screenings. The participants get medical attention they may otherwise not have access to.
People around the world help realize Ms. Shriver's vision: “to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities everywhere, and, in turn, transform the lives of everyone they touch—building a better, more accepting world for all of us.”
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|