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Through on-going partnerships with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Federal Government, Special Olympics has been able to provide critical services to people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in the areas of health, education and employment. The proposed House Appropriations Continuing Resolution (CR) Bill for 2011, schedule for vote as early as February 17, proposes dramatic cuts, if not total elimination, of the Federal money that serves as the majority of funds that allow these programs to operate.

What are the areas of Special Olympics that would be affected by these cuts?

Health
Despite a public perception that people with ID receive better health care than those without ID, our research shows the opposite is true. In response to this glaring need, our Healthy Athletes program has provided more than 1 million FREE health care screenings to our athletes.

Employment
Our research shows that 52% of working age Special Olympics athletes are employed, compared to just 10% of working age people with ID that are not in Special Olympics.

Education
Special Olympics Project UNIFY is in 43 U.S. States, 15,000 schools and reaches 600,000 students and employs a variety of intervention strategies to build school environments where all young people feel safe, valued and empowered to stand-up to bullying.

These programs, services and the data that demonstrates their impact and need is possible because the majority of funds to support this work is provided by the U.S. Federal Government. The proposed House Appropriations (CR) Bill for 2011, scheduled to be voted on as early as February 17, could dramatically slash or eliminate the Federal money that is the gross majority of funds that allow these programs to operate.

The good news is YOU can do something about it.

If you support the work Special Olympics does for people with intellectual disabilities in these areas you can:

  1. Go to www.contactingthecongress.org and send a message to your local congressman telling them, “As a constituent in your district/state, I urge you to VOTE NO on the House Appropriations CR Bill for 2011.”  Please feel free to share a brief personal story or note as to why you do not want them to support this bill.
  2. Share this post with your friends and social networks via email and Facebook urging them to speak out.
  3. If you use Twitter, you can tweet @ your member of Congress.  Almost all of them have a presence on Twitter, which means that because it is a public forum, you can guarantee someone monitors the account.  So tweet @ your member of Congress!  Use this website to find your member – http://tweetcongress.org/members/ and send a tweet @ them to say “As your constituent, I urge you to VOTE NO on the House Appropriations CR Bill for 2011.”
  4. Sign our Act.ly petition on Twitter – http://act.ly/341

Check out the document below for more facts and information on the impact this critical funding makes in the lives of our athletes.

37 thoughts on “House Bill Threatens Life of Critical Special Olympics Programs

  1. people on ssi get there check and all medical paid for,people on ssdi dont get all there medical paid for most have a spenddown if they had to pay every month there check would be less then people on ssi .these people worked and paid in ,allthese little rich people programs is the main reason for spenddowns. i have had epilepsy since i was 12.

  2. My daughter teaches multiple handicapped children (actually she has had high school students for the past two yrs) and I know from being around this kids that it would crush them if they were to take away ANY funding for special activities her students get to participate in. I with some of you other people out there. Its time for ALL poloticians to take a BIG cut in pay and start taking care of US!!

  3. the special olympics is just another example of the KENNEDY family starting another federally funded program that they appoint a member of their inbred family to the CEO position . This program is just like the oil discount program that JOE. KENNEDY jr. operates which is also federally funded with him as the CEO ! These are really welfare programs for the KENNEDYS so they can live off the taxpayers dime , which they have been doing for almost a century now ! They play on the AMERICAN peoples emontions and use these disabled people as their poster kids . This is just one of many programs that need to be eliminated completely ! People say it does so much good you cant cut it , well if you think it is so great reach in your own pocket and pay for it and stay the hell out of my pocket !!!!!!!

    • I think that what you just said is about the most ignorant thing i have ever heard in my life. What if you lost your job today and no one else would hire you? Do you think YOU are deserving? Well so is the rest of the world!!! People like you make the world a much harder place to live because you have not one clue on what life is REALLY about. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE… you obviously don’t have that in your heart if you would even for one second want to deny someone you may think is below you, the chance at a happy life. You should be ashamed of yourself for even posting what you did!
      You are a slave for the one you work for… your rainy day you are saving for.. is someone else’s sunshine… you are no better than anyone. We are all equal and i hope that one day you realize that.
      I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the money that the Government takes out of your pocket is not only for them to line thier own pockets, but to keep shelters open, feed the poor, give medical care to the needy, keep your bank open, and much much more… do you think they should cut all of these programs? If they did, do you realize what would happen to your streets? The murders that would happen for people to feed thier kids… murders over $20.00. Why are you against the the Special Olympics? What harm are they doing you? Grow Up!

    • Wayne you know what you just said was daead wrong. the Special olympics means so much to me as a athlete we are not poster kids and if you had your information stright special olympics isn’t just for children it is for ages 8 and up. All i can say is every dog has its day when they pass and only the good lord can judge you but I know the lord is about Love and not hate so I would take a hard look at myself if i were you, oh and by the way like Assunta said what did Special olympics do you to make you hate us athletes so badly? Oh and as far as the peoples own pockets I am sure that all the areas could and probably will get people that will donate money so that us athletes can still have some of the programs that this bill will cut. i think you really need to grow up Wayne. Oh and I pray to god you don’t have any children and if you do that they don’t end up disabled. ps I won’t leave my real name just think of me a a angry athlete. and Assunta thank you for defending Special olympics

      • I will always defend what i think is right and not ever fall in the catergory of stupidity and heartlessness. honestly i have never had anyone in my family who was disabled except for my Grandmother, but it was a mental illness. She spent most of her adult life in a mental ward of one of the worst hospitals in Pennsylvania because the state had no place else to put her so that she could be with her family and still have the freedom she deserved. Her entire life was misery and her 2 children suffered because they did not get to grow up with thier mother. My family tried getting her all kinds of help that the state would just not fund. My point is, she was my Grandmother and she was WORTH it to me to get the proper treatment. Just because the state thought she was usless to society, did not mean that she was usless to her family who so dearly loved her. Everyone in this Country should have the right to freedom and help if needed. They should have a social group to attend and there should be not one disagreement on the Governments behalf to give it to them!!! If enough people stand up to BULLIES like Wayne, a CHANGE WILL HAPPEN!!!

    • Wayne you know what you just said was daead wrong. the Special olympics means so much to me as a athlete we are not poster kids and if you had your information stright special olympics isn’t just for children it is for ages 8 and up. All i can say is every dog has its day when they pass and only the good lord can judge you but I know the lord is about Love and not hate so I would take a hard look at myself if i were you, oh and by the way like Assunta said what did Special olympics do you to make you hate us athletes so badly? Oh and as far as the peoples own pockets I am sure that all the areas could and probably will get people that will donate money so that us athletes can still have some of the programs that this bill will cut. i think you really need to grow up Wayne. Oh and I pray to god you don’t have any children and if you do that they don’t end up disabled. ps I won’t leave my real name just think of me a a angry athlete. and Assunta thank you for defending Special olympics

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  6. i have 2 kids in special olympics and they really enjoy it and if they take this they wouldnt have anything to do they have had the opperenty to travel to different citieand make new friends in the process so i dont think it fair that they take this from our children with special needs it all they have so please consider your vote when making this decison thank you diana myers

  7. I have been a special olympics coach for the past 4 years. The pride and confidence these games give our athletes, is priceless. Vote NO ! to the bill to stop funding , and cherish all of the lives these games touch from athletes to many many volunteers and parents whose lives are enriched by participating in the games. The world is a better place due to all who are involved.

  8. Hi my name is Kara I have been a Special olympics athlete since I was 8 years old I am now 31. I would be crushed if this bill gets passed as I don’t make friends easily but when I am in special olympics I feel like i can make friends because they are like me and won’t judge me. I love my competitions and look forward to special olympics track and field every spring/summer. I just recently in July went to Nebraska for the Special olympics National games. I sure hope that I will have that oportunity to strive to go to national games again in 4 years.

  9. My husband and I have bee volunteers with Special Olympics for the last 4 years. We have mainly participated with floor hockey. We did the invitational and world olympics. This was such a joy and experience to meet so many athletes. It would be very sad for anyone to take away anything from these special athletes. I would like to see more participation from local personel and the community and to publish the activities so more can get involved and actually see what happens with all these great and wonderful people. I know this has changed my life and I will continue to volunteer as much as I can when I can.

  10. This program offers so much for people with special needs! It not only gives these kids a sense of pride but also helps with their well-being and health! There are very few programs that are for people with special needs! My son thoroughly enjoys competing and socializing with others as do all the athletes that compete! I believe that all of the government officials should be required to go and watch a special olympic event and then they can see for themselves just how important this program is to people with special needs! I realize that cuts need to be made but this area is NOT one that should be cut!

  11. I am an athlete. I dont want special olympics to stop. Because ever since i got in it i have been making alot of new friends. And i have been doing things i never thought i would ever do in my whole life.

  12. I can’t beleive that they are cutting so much for our people with disablities. They need to cut the State parties, dinners and bands that are being used so much. our people need to socialize more and take part just as everyone else seems to do. Say no to taking away a life dream.

    • i agree with you. why do they need all those dinners and parties when there are people out in our world being ignored and treated horribly because they are different

  13. I have a son with a disability and I wanted to get him involved in the Special Olympics, so he can have equal opportunities and feel proud of his accomplishments. I am totally against this bill!!! There are so many people that this program benefits. I think we as tax payers have a right to vote for where are money goes. God bless the USA

  14. 15 years ago I started coaching Special Olympics and that is the day my life changed. It influenced me to become a school teacher and a better person. Do not cut any funding for these amazing people, SO touches the lives of millions.

  15. am against this bill thats so not fair to our athletes and partners who have intellectual disibilities and they shouldn’t do that to us or to our health they need to leave it all alone.
    i have intellectual disibility and am an athlete from great falls mt and am also on the project unify program development committee and i also do sports like downhill skiing bowling bocce track and field soccer running long jump cross country skiing gymnastics.
    with my intellectual disibilities at school are hard to have and its hard to learn and do things at school and at practices. at my high school i help with special education kids and they have a disibility and its hard for them to talk or walk and its quiet sad. i just don’t know why they should do this to us i think they need to step back from it and not declaring it threatening.

    • No one has an obligation to give money to the special olympics, if the do not believe that it is not legitimate, because that is infringing on the rights of other people who are free to not believe in the establishment! Now this has nothing to do with any issues that pertain to ssi!

  16. I have been very blessed to have been a part of special olympics for the past year and a half and it has made a big differance in my life and the lives of others in the Florida Panhandle.

  17. My Wonderful & Amazing Son has Autism & is a participant of Special Olympics in Eau Claire, WI. He has intellectual disabilities, as well as many other characteristics of Autism. Special Olympics Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Wisconsin Special Olympics District, Eau Claire Wisconsin Special Olympic Coaches have impacted my Son’s life immensely!

    One of the reasons we re-located back to WI was due to their fantastic Special Olympic program! He joined the program as he entered 5th grade. Since he joined his world had changed for the better, as well our family has learned so much more about the wonders of helping others. He is now communicating more with athletes, laughing with peers who understand the daily challenges they each face! He has grown to be proud of himself & his accomplishments learning sports & the discipline that comes from it. He walks taller, has improved esteem & confidence. He has coaches that take the to help him understand the sport, its rules & how to be successful! He talks more openly, has grown in his comfort zone while it expands!

    The coaches are all most all volunteers, teach our particpants how to be more independent while helping them learn to make better choices in life, health & our world! To see the smiles, love, friendships & triumphs that are celebrated daily with our son actively participating in the Special Olympics Program is amazing & truly a blessing!

    I challenge each member of the House of Representatives, Senators & other Government Politicians & Committee Members to volunteer 1 day at Special Olympics & than tell me that they would even consider cutting funding for any program helping other American’s with Intellectual Disabilities! Being this is an eye opener for every person that experiences an event with Special Olympic participants, I believe you will want to find way to contribute more!

    Please vote to continue to fund & increase the funding for our Special Olympic Participants to grow beyond expectations! What would you do if you had a child that had an intellectual disability? Would you take away a program in which they have potential to experience what every person takes for granted? Please open your heart & jump in with both feet.

    Very Blessed, Continually Thankful & Concerned Mother in Eau Claire, WI

  18. I am not one for this bill at all! If it were not for The Special Olympics, our nation’s intellectually disabled community would quite literally not have any respect to an awfully fair extent.

    Two of my family members were intellectually disabled; one mildly so and one profoundly so. I know darned well that they both were fortunate enough to have the opportunity for proper and unbiased medical care because of the precedent the Special Olympics set all those many years ago by the late Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

    What the Special Olympics is doing now is tremendous and the work must continue in as unfettered a fashion as possible. The work which the Special Olympics has done speaks for itself and if this bill goes through, then it would just be a crying shame.

    I most sincerely do hope that this bill does not go through at all! Hopefully, this whole issue will become more publicized. Just today, I took the plunge and opened up one of those twitter pages and I learned of it through twitter because I could not think of a better organization to “follow” than the Special Olympics. Prior to all of that, I heard nothing of this bill or anything. So we all near to rally together in peace on this issue please.

    bless y’all,

    Mary

  19. I have a daughter with an Intellectual Disability who just came back from the 2011 Winter Games Special Olympics in Thunder Bay, in Ontario. I am against this proposed bill. My daughters life is greatly inhanced because of her participation in Special Olympics, without it she would be withdrawn and a lot less social person. Please do not vote this bill

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