Inclusion is no less important to people with intellectual and physical challenges than to anyone else, and no organization is better at emphasizing abilities over disabilities than the Special Olympics.
The organization was founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of President John F. Kennedy. She fought for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities and their empowerment through sports competition.
Today, the Special Olympics spreads this message of inclusion around the world. It serves as a community where everyone is welcome regardless of their abilities. The organization’s goal is to help them become confident and empowered through athletic participation.
There are more than 200 million people in the world with intellectual disabilities, according to the Special Olympics website,. Nearly 5 million people ages 8 and older from 172 countries participate in Special Olympics.
Special Olympians include both children and adults with intellectual disabilities, many of whom also have physical challenges. Many use a motorized wheelchair for ease in going about their daily lives.
The most recent global Special Olympics competition, the winter games, was held in Austria in March 2017. More than 2,700 athletes from 107 countries participated.
The next summer games are set for March of 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Special Olympics games will see athletes participating in 24 sports over the course of seven days, including volleyball, bocce, kayaking, roller skating, sailing, equestrian and powerlifting.
Organizers estimate the summer games will draw approximately 7,000 athletes along with 2,600 coaches and 500,000 spectators. They will rely on 20,000 volunteers to help the games run smoothly.
Ease of transportation is an important part of inclusion, enabling a person who must use a wheelchair the ability to go about his or her daily life independently. The use of the best motorized wheelchair can help make everyday living easier for a person with limited mobility caused by disease or disability. Contact Intellichair for more information about the best foldable, portable motorized wheelchairs.