Big milestones have been reached for Americans with disabilities this month. On July 26, individuals around the nation celebrated the 25th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) being signed. This momentous occasion also coincided with the Special Olympics World Games currently going on in Los Angeles. As these milestones bring attention to individuals with disabilities, so has Shriver Media by releasing The Shriver Report Snapshot: Insight into Intellectual Disabilities in the 21st Century poll. Shriver Media is owned by Maria Shriver, the daughter of Eunice Kennedy, founder of Special Olympics and Special Olympics International.
The study was supported by the Richard and Cecilia Attias Foundation and was conducted online by Harris Poll in July 2015. Its purpose was to gain an understanding of where we are as a nation 25 years after the passing of ADA. The report reveals that while 56 percent of Americans said they personally know someone with an intellectual disability, the opportunity to meet, befriend, play or work with someone with an intellectual disability is exceptionally rare.
To continue what the ADA started 25 years ago, the Special Olympics has created #LetsChangetheGameChallenge, a call to action to people throughout the country to play, learn, accept and say yes to including people with intellectual disabilities. It’s hoped that with this hashtag, people will be encouraged to not be afraid to smile and start a conversation with someone with an intellectual disability.