Special OlympicsRebecca Auger & Christian Kemp

“Let me win, but if I can not win, let me be brave in the attempt”
- Special Olympics Oath


"When even one Special Olympics athlete can compete, when even one can know the unbounded joy of a great personal effort, we rejoice both in the specific event and in the life-changing example it sets for others." -Timothy P. Shriver, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board
 Special Olympics

The Special Olympics is a nongovernmental, not for profit organization that operates around the globe providing athletic opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The organization operates mainly through its grassroots style planning through local chapters and partnerships with other organizations and schools. The organization is overseen by the Board of Directors, which is broken down into a group of six officers and a group thirty-four board members. The Special Olympics is comprised of around 3.1 million athletes and families in 175 different countries (Special Olympics, Inc., 2010). The current Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of the Special Olympics is Timothy Shriver. Timothy Shriver studied at Yale University and earned his doctorate degree in education from the University of Connecticut. He cofounded and currently chairs the research organization, Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Lastly, he has worked as a producer on several movies and serves on the board of the WPP Group and Neogenix Oncology Inc (Special Olympics, Inc., 2010).

For more information about Timothy Shriver and his vision for the Special Olympics, click here.

In addition to running Special Olympics athletic activities and competitive events through local established chapters of the Special Olympics, the Special Olympics also oversees several health, education, and family initiatives. Some of these initiatives include:

  • Special Olympics Healthy Athletes : Provides education programs and public health screenings for people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Special Olympics Get Into It program: Works with Unified Sports to promote inclusion around the world for people with disabilities. The program also provides education resources including lesson plans for schools and teachers.
  • Project UNIFY : Encourages youth leadership and strong school-community relations.
  • Athlete Leadership Program : Provides leadership training and resources for athletes.
  • Family Support Network: Provides resources and opportunities for families to connect with each other.
  • Spread the Word to End the Word : Campaign to create awareness and promote the end of the use of the "R-Word".
  • Special Olympics also actively participates in bringing attention to legislative issues of concern to the Special Olympics community on the local and national level.

The Special Olympics receives funding from the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation for the Benefit of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities and various sponsors such as Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Mattel, Bank of America, and Proctor and Gamble, to name a few. The organization also holds many fundraising events such as the Law Enforcement Torch Run and Penguin or Polar Bear Plunges (organized by Special Olympics State Chapters) (Special Olympics, Inc., 2010).


History of the Special Olympics

The Special Olympics originated as Camp Shriver in the summer of 1962 when Eunice Kennedy Shriver began a summer camp at her home in Maryland for children with intellectual disabilities (then referred to as mental retardation). Shriver used funds from the Kennedy Foundation to fund several camps around the country. In 1967, Shriver heard of a plan for a track meet in Chicago for children with intellectual disabilities. The idea came from Anne Burke, a 23 year-old physical education teacher for the Chicago Park District. Anne Burke is considered one of the initial founders of the Special Olympics. The Kennedy Foundation had been giving money to various special education programs including a physical education program in the Chicago parks. Anne Burke set up a meeting with Eunice Shriver to pitch her idea for an Olympic-type event for individuals with an intellectual disability. Shriver accepted Burke’s idea and proposal and with $25,000 from the Kennedy Foundation, funded the project. Anne Burke resigned her role with the Special Olympics in 1970 when she decided to return to pursue a law degree. Burke currently serves as an Illinois Supreme Court Justice (Hahn , 2009).

On July 19th and 20th of 1968 the first Special Olympics games in Chicago held at Soldier Field in Chicago just seven weeks after Eunice Shriver’s younger brother, Robert, had been assassinated (Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 2010). It was at these first games that Shriver recited the Special Olympics oath amongst around 1,000 athletes and around 100 spectators: “Let me win, but if I can not win, let me be brave in the attempt”. Athletes from 26 states and Canada participated in track and field and swimming events (Special Olympics, Inc. 2010).

Shriver is said to have gotten the inspirationand passion for helping those with an intellectual disability because of her older sister, Rosemary Kennedy. Rosemary had a mild intellectual disability but underwent a lobotomy in 1941 after which she remained in an institution until her death in 2005 (Shorter, 2000). Shriver was also fueled by her own athleticism and desire to bring more athletic opportunities to both women and people with intellectual disabilities. Shriver's husband, Sargent Shriver, served as the Chairman of the Board for thirteen years. Sargent was and continues to be a driving force for the Special Olympics. (Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 2010).

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 1964
Timeline Overview
After the kick-off of Special Olympics in Chicago, the Special Olympics was granted permission by the United States Olympic Committee to officially use the word “olympics” in 1971. Six years later, the Special Olympics held their first international winter games which included events in skiing and skating. The years following brought tremendous momentum behind the Special Olympics movement. The organization expanded rapidly to include many more athletes, events and participating countries. In 1988 the Special Olympics received an endorsement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and also began the Special Olympics Unified Sports (unified sports) program in the United States (which later expands to other countries). People with intellectual disabilities began serving as certified officials for the Special Olympics games in 1995. Two years later, the organization starts the Healthy Athletes program, which provides screening, education and health-care services worldwide for Special Olympics participant (Special Olympics, Inc., 2010).

The 1990’s brought many exciting fundraising events and opportunities for the Special Olympics. Many singers, actors, and politicians joined the cause to raise money and awareness for the Special Olympics. In the 2000’s the organization saw an increased dedication from countries such as China and nation in Africa. While spreading awareness about intellectual disabilities and inclusion abroad, the Special Olympics also began the SO Get Into It initiative that distributes free educational kits to schools in order to educate students with and without intellectual disabilities about acceptance and inclusion. In 2003, the organization began writing reports and studies focusing on attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities around the world. The Special Olympics received its first legislation support when George W. Bush signed the Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act dedicating millions of dollars to support the Special Olympics. In recent years, the organization more than doubled its worldwide participation and began the Special Olympics Global Congress to include leaders from around the world. Most recently, the Special Olympics World Summer Games were held in Athens, Greece. The Special Olympics continues extensive fundraising and uses sports as a means for promoting awareness, acceptance, respect, and inclusion for people in intellectual disabilities (Special Olympics, Inc., 2010).

For a more in depth look at the history of the Special Olympics, click here.

Historical Significance
The creation of the Special Olympics marked a major milestone for individuals with intellectual disability. People with intellectual disabilities are a typically underserved population and in the 1960’s when Eunice Kennedy Shriver began her summer camp, the idea of providing athletic opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities was unheard of. At that moment in history, the term “mentally retarded” was prevalent and those who had an intellectual disability were more often than not sent to an institution. Inclusion was considered crazy. Most institutions were run by the state and were overcrowded concrete buildings (Shorter, 2000, p.10). If a family chose to not send their child to an institution, which was a rare occurrence, the individual with a disability often experienced stigmatization and discrimination. Schools often would turn children away if they had an intellectual disability (Shorter, 2000, p.27).

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the Kennedy family began donating a great deal of money towards programs for individuals with an intellectual disability. Joe Kennedy, Sargent Shriver and Eunice Shriver began sponsoring research for intellectual disability (Shorter, 2000, p.67). With financial and political influence, Eunice Kennedy urged her brother, President John F. Kennedy to make intellectual disability a priority to his administration. In 1961, President Kennedy organized a panel to address the neglected population. In 1963, Kennedy signed the Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Amendment to the Social Security Act, which, among many things, increased funding and programming opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Soon after the Amendement, President Kennedy signed another piece of legislation that increased funding for education, research, prevention and care for people with intellectual disabilities (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, 2010).

From the momentum of the political changes occurring in the White House, Eunice Shriver moved forward with her Camp Shriver and eventually the Special Olympics. Attitudes and approaches to serving people with intellectual disabilities were changed forever, opening doors to ever evolving legislation and increased opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

For more information about the historical significance of the Kennedy family and the Special Olympics, click here.


Intellectual Disability

Athletic participation in the Special Olympics is open to children and adults with an intellectual disability. According to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), an “intellectual disability is characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical skills. This originates before age 18” (AAIDD, 2010).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines intellectual disability “both by a significantly below-average score on a test of mental ability or intelligence and by limitations in the ability to function in areas of daily life such as communication, self-care, and getting along in social situations and school activities” (CDC 2010).

The Individuals with Disability Education Act 2004 (IDEA) also defines intellectual disability as meaning both low general functioning as well as limitations in adaptive behavior which is first recognizable at a young age and has a significant impact on the person's education (IDEA, 2004).

According to the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY), statistics for intellectual disability include:

  • Around 3 out of every 100 people in the United States have an intellectual disability
  • About 614,000 children covered under IDEA (ages 3 through 21) have an intellectual disability
  • 1 out of every 10 special education students have some form of an intellectual disability (NICHCY, 2010)

The Special Olympics has many research, programming and campaign initiatives, which focus on creating awareness around intellectual disability and calling attention to important issues that effect individuals with an intellectual disability. Specifically, the Special Olympics organization has conducted several research studies that focus on national and international attitudes toward inclusion and individuals with intellectual disabilities. Research studies conducted by the Special Olympics can be downloaded and read here (Special Olympics, Inc., 2010).

Recent Events and Controversies
Use of the "R-Word"
The Situation: The words "retarded" and "mentally retarded" were once used as clinical terms to label individuals with intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics has taken an advocacy position in working towards eliminating the use of these outdated terms. In popular culture these words have come to be used as insults and attach a hurtful stigma to individuals with disabilities. Many celebrities, political figures, and movies have publicly used the words "retarded" or, as in President Obama's case, used "Special Olympics" to explain his bowling skills. Actor Jennifer Aniston, Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and the movie Tropic Thunder have all publicly used the word "retarded".

The Controversy: Similiar to the controversy below regarding Rosa's Law, not everyone seems to agree with the Special Olympic's cause to end the use of the "r-word". Their campaign has come under fire by those who would like to protect freedom of speech. Others believe that by eliminating the "r-word" a new insult will be created to replace it. Some believe that by using "intellectual disability" instead of "mental retardation" we are just being forced to become politically correct. The Special Olympics and many disability advocacy groups believe that the use of the "r-word" should be eliminated in order to show respect and give basic human rights to individuals with intellectual disability (Special Olympics Inc., 2010).

Click here to learn more about the Special Olympics campaign to stop the use of the "r-word".
Video explaining the controversy around the movie 'Tropic Thunder':

Rosa’s Law
The Situation: In early October 2010, President Obama signed a bill, nicknamed Rosa’s Law, which removes the terms “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” from all federal laws and replaces the terms with “individual with an intellectual disability” and “intellectual disability”. The Special Olympics organization and their mission to provide acceptance and respect for all people with intellectual disabilities supported the law. The Special Olympics began a campaign to end the use of the “R-Word” in 2008 and began educating school age children in 2009 with their “Spread the Word to End the Word” awareness campaign (Special Olympics, Inc., 2010).

The Controversy: The use of the “retard” or “mental retardation” is commonly used today as a derogatory, stigmatizing term instead of its original clinical intentions. The terms are also considered outdated. Changing the language in federal laws shows progress towards using people first language when referring to an individual with a disability (Special Olympics, Inc., 2010). While signing this law shows progress in showing respect for individuals with disabilities, some may argue that signing a law does little to actually prevent people from using the “r-word” as it does not provide actually change public perceptions and attitudes towards individuals with disabilities. In addition to not providing significant change in the common use of the perforative term, others can argue that if the "r-word" is indeed eliminated, it will only be replaced by new derogatory terms. Another concern of some people is that by removing the term "mentally retarded" and replacing it with "intellectual disability" will effect the amount and quality of services that individuals with intellectual disabilities qualify for. However, studies have shown that services are not likely to change when the label is changed (Harris, 2006, p.4).

For more information about Special Olympics awareness campaigns, click here .
Go here to get information about how to get a "Spread the Word to End the Word" education toolkit.

To read Rosa'a Law click here.
See below for PSA from the Special Olympics regarding their campaign to end the use of the "r-word".


Student Denied Participation in Special Olympics
The Situation: In August of 2010, the Special Olympics fell under controversy when an athletic 17-year-old girl with a developmental disability in Chicago wanted to play on the Special Olympics basketball team but she was told she could not participate. The girl tires quickly and also requires the assistance of a service dog that holds an oxygen tank (Ahmed-Ullah, 2010).

The Controversy: After attempts at resolving the issue, the organization Equip for Equality helped the parents file a law suit against the Special Olympics citing that the Special Olympics is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and Illinois state law. In addition, the school district in Chicago is now questioning whether or not they should severe their ties with the Special Olympics organization (Ahmed-Ullah, 2010).

For more information about this controversy, click here.

The Ringer (2005)
The Situation: In 2005, the Special Olympics sent their praise and support for the film The Ringer. The movie feature Johnny Knoxville who plays a man that fakes a disability in order to rig the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics organization believes the movie helped to change public attitudes about people with intellectual disabilities.

The Controversy: The movie features athletes and actors with intellectual disabilities and strives to portray individuals with intellectual disability as talented and fun. Some argue that the film might reinforce some negative stereotypes of people with intellectual disability as well as cause viewers to laugh at the Special Olympics athletes. Others insist, including representatives from the Special Olympics, that viewers are laughing with the athletes, not at them (Associated Press, 2005).

More information about 'The Ringer' can be found here and here.
Click the video below to view the trailer for 'The Ringer'.

A Cause for Debate:
The Pros and Cons Regarding the Special Olympics

There has been much controversy regarding whether or not the Special Olympics has a positive or negative impact on its participants and viewers. Some argue the competition may reinforce negative stereotypes about individuals with disabilities while others argue it provides positive opportunities for those with disabilities. Several researchers have devoted many years of investigation to help come to a conclusion about the debate over the Special Olympics. Below, information is provided on both sides of the debate: the research that supports the Olympics as well as the research against it.

Supporting the Special Olympics

Click here to find out more about Florence!
Click here to find out more about Florence!

Reasons to support the Special Olympics:
  • The Special Olympics are now a global movement. The Special Olympics first began in 1968 in a small high school in the United States. It has now evolved to become a very popular international program that includes more then 3.1 million athletes from across the world (MacLean, 2008)!
  • The program helps to enhance motor skill development through physical sport as well as increase awareness of persons with disabilities in societies.
  • The Special Olympics contributes to the physical well being of the athletes competing through the Healthy Athlete (Special Olympics, Inc., 2010.
  • The Special Olympics partner with schools all across the United States and in other countries. Many of the athletes that compete in the Special Olympics are recruited through the schools they attend (MacLean, 2008).
  • Special Olympic athletes are more likely to be employed in the United States. More then half of the athletes (52%) are employed, this help to prove the correlation between those who compete in the Special Olympics and the ability to be employed in the United States(Special Olympics, Inc., 2010).
  • Special Olympic athletes enjoy the social experiences that come along with competing in sports events. The team atmosphere provides the athletes with positive socializing experiences that could take possibly extend past the actual competition. Some make life long friendships that can be attributed to the Special Olympics(Special Olympics, Inc., 2010).
  • Participation in the Special Olympics is a lifestyle choice that can help for increase physical activity for many individuals that would have otherwise not have any opportunities for athletic activity. More than half of the athletes reported on surveys to participate in three or more hours of physical activity per week because of the training for their events in the Special Olympics(Special Olympics, Inc., 2010).
  • Because athletes compete individually, many athletes that compete have experienced an increase in sense of self, social skills and social interactions due to their participation in the program. Individuals also receive positive reinforcement through public recognition and feelings of success which can then be applied to other skills and activities (Hughes and McDonald, 2008).
  • There has been a 76 percent growth over a four-year period in athletes that have participated in the program in 2004. This growth shows how successful the program is. Those who compete enjoy the events and not only do they come back, but they bring along friends! (Special Olympics, Inc., 2010).


Support the Special Olympics


"The Special Olympics has been a controversial program for persons with severe disabilities.There have been numerous discussion articles in the literature concerning pros and cons of the Special Olympics, and research has often found negative results concerning the Special Olympics. The purpose of this article is to review and to discuss concerns regarding the Special Olympics as well as to suggest future directions for recreational services for individuals with severe disabilities."
-Keith Storey

Keith Storey (2008) of Touro University explains his case agains the Special Olympics. Below is a summary of concerns Storey (2008) has established with the Special Olympics.

  • Social interactions that do occur between persons with and without disabilities at the Special Olympics are likely to be short term (a short meeting between volunteer and and athlete) and unlikely to develop into meaningful friendships or social networks. Research points out that individuals are more likely to develop long lasting, fulfilling relationships with those they are certain they will encounter in the future. For those competing in the Special Olympics, this future may not be so certain, therefore, Storey (2008) believes the relationships formed at the Olympics are simply superficial and of no long-lasting value to the Special Olympics participant.
  • Reinforcement of negative stereotypes is another concern Storey (2008) points out in the article. Images that evoke feelings of pity, sadness and empathy for individuals with intellectual disability are often used to elicit donations and support for the Special Olympics.
  • There is a lack of functional skills being taught at the Special Olympics. Many of the Special Olympics events take up many hours of training when, as Storey (2008) argues, time could be used to include teaching functional skills that can be used well into adulthood.
  • The age appropriateness of the activities are questionable. The adult participants in the Special Olympics are often compete alongside younger participants. This can lead to the infantilization and increased stigmatization of adults with disabilities (Storey, 2008).
  • Financial concerns have arisen for the Special Olympics as well. Previous articles and writings have suggested that too much of the money pouring into the Special Olympics is being spent on salaries and frivolous items. As previously researched in Storey's (2008) article, the Special Olympics has used for profit direct marketing firms. Little of the money raised actually goes toward the Special Olympics's causes.
  • In addition to the way the donations are handled and budgeted, there is also concern about the Special Olympics's fund because some of their money comes from taxpayers (Storey, 2008).
  • Promotion of Handicapism is also a theory Storey (2008) points out. He believes the Special Olympics promotes unequal individuals because the Special Olympics is so disability-focused. In other words, because the Special Olympics is only open to people with intellectual disabilities, the public perception of Special Olympics athletes is defined by their disability (Storey, 2008).
  • Paternalism and disability representation is also a concern of the Special Olympics. Some argue that there is not enough representation of individuals with intellectual disabilities on the Board of Directors within the Special Olympics. In addition, the coaches are the leaders in many Special Olympics events. The coaches are often individuals without a disability (Storey, 2008).
  • The "Huggers" is a huge concern for Storey (2008) and others whom take a critical view of the Special Olympics. At the end of an event, volunteers, or "huggers" give hugs to the participants. While seemingly harmless, Storey (2008) and others argue that this act of hugging further reinforces infantilization of participants as well as display what is otherwise, meaning in other contexts, socially inappropriate.
  • The Special Olympics is the only source for athletic activity for individuals with an intellectual disability. Storey (2008) says that because there are little to no alternate options for people with a disability to athletically compete, the notion of choice and self-determination is not being met.


Going Forward
After reviewing the pros and cons of the Special Olympics, conclusions as to what improvements can be made to the Special Olympics and athletics for individuals with an intellectual disability are as follows:
  • Increase the number leadership roles for individuals with a disability (coaches, directors, etc.)
  • Increased inclusion in public recreational sports (other than those just sponsored by the Special Olympics)
  • Increased options and choice for athletic competition for individuals with disabilities
  • Increased initiatives for public awareness, advocacy, and education around intellectual disability and inclusion
  • Events and activities to be made age appropriate and efforts made to decrease infantilization and stigmatization of individuals with intellectual disability

What does this mean for schools and teachers?

external image leftquote.gif I’ve learned so much from Adam and I’m sure he’s learned some from me. If you take the time to make them your friend, they’re the same as everyone else.external image rightquote.gifTommy Oreste, Special Olympics Youth Summit participant (Special Olympics, Inc,. 2010)

Click here.

"Young people know firsthand the pain of being left out, teased and excluded. They also are open-minded to new things and have the courage of conviction to step up and defend their beliefs. And they know how to have fun while doing it."

Participation and leadership in local schools!

The Special Olympics can provides schools and teachers with:
  • Teacher/Coach sport-specific training for children with disabilities in the community or school.
  • Equipment for general or specific sports.
  • Uniforms
  • Opportunities for healthy competition amongst other students with disabilities.
  • Transportation to and from events if needed and,
  • Many resources for the participant, members of the community, teachers, parents, etc (Special Olympics Southern California Inc,. 2010)

These resources are all available through the Special Olympics, it is up to teachers and administrators to take advantage of the support.

Additional Resources

Special Olympics

Intellectual Disability


Ahmed-Ullah, Noreen S. (2010, August 31). Special olympics bars student with special needs. Chicago Tribune, retrieved November 12, 2010 from http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-08-31/news/ct-met-0831-specialolympics-20100831_1_special-olympics-oxygen-tanks-simba.

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. (2010). Intellectual disability. American association on intellectual and developmental disabilities. Retrieved December 1, 2010 from http://www.aaidd.org/intellectualdisabilitybook/content_2348.cfm?navID=267.

Associated Press. (2005, December 8). The special olympics approve of 'the ringer'. MSNBC Today Movies. Retrieved December 1, 2010 from http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/10385246/ns/today-entertainment/.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Intellectual disability. Centers for disease control and prevention. Retrieved December 1, 2010 from http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dd/ddmr.htm.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver One Woman’s Vision. (2010). Small steps great strides. Eunice Kennedy Shriver One Woman’s Vision. Retrieved December 1, 2010 from http://www.eunicekennedyshriver.org/.

Hahn, Lucinda. (2009, November). Making history: how Anne Burke met Eunice Kennedy and the special olympics began. Chicago Magazine. Retrieived November 12, 2010 from

Harris, James C. (2006). Intellectual disability: understanding its development, causes, classification, evaluation and treatment. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Hughes, Carolyn. McDonald, Meghan L. (2008). The special olympics: sporting or social event?. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 33(3). Retrieved December 2, 2010 from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.uconn.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=6&hid=112&sid=857547db-b25e-404b-86eb-cfd79b07db97%40sessionmgr110

Individuals with Disabilities Act, 2004.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. (2010). JFK in history: mental retardation. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved November 12, 2010 from http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/JFK+in+History/Mental+Retardation.htm.

Long, Lawrence Carter. (n.d.). "Tropic thunder" - hollywood still doesn't get it. Disaboom. Retrueved December 2, 2010 from http://www.disaboom.com/movies/quottropic-thunder-hollywood-still-doesnt-get-it.

MacLean, William.E.(2008). Special Olympics: The rest of the Storey. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 33(3). Retrieved November 29, 2010 from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.uconn.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=4&hid=106&sid=e5360489-a9c6-4596-a316-686191884c27%40sessionmgr111

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. (2010). Intellectual disability (formerly mental retardation). National dissemination center for children with disabilities. Retrieved December 1, 2010 from http://www.nichcy.org/Disabilities/Specific/Pages/IntellectualDisability.aspx.

Newscore. (2010, August 19). Jennifer Aniston slammed for using 'r' word in interview: report. NY Post. Retrieved December 2, 2010 from http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/movies/jennifer_aniston_slammed_for_using_pEvwSW9LLxI8Wyq62b1WbM.

Orr, Jimmy. (2009, March 19). President Obama makes a special olympics joke - staffer apologizes. Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved December 2, 2010 from http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/The-Vote/2009/0319/president-obama-makes-a-special-olympics-joke-staffer-apologizes.

Shorter, Edward. (2000). The kennedy family and the story of mental retardation. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Special Olympics, Inc. (2010). Special Olympics. Retrieved November 12, 2010 from http://www.specialolympics.org/.

Special Olympics Southern California, Inc. (2010). Special Olympics. Retrieved December 1, 2010 from http://www.sosc.org/page.aspx?pid=286

Storey, Keith. (2008). The more things change the more they are the same: continuing concerns with the special olympics. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 33(3). Retrieved December 1, 2010 from http://courses.washington.edu/intro2ds/Readings/Olympics.pdf.

Tapper, Jake. (2010, February 2). Rahm apologizes for privately calling liberal activists "retarded". ABC News. Retrieved December 2, 2010 from http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/02/rahm-apologizes-for-privately-calling-liberal-activists-retarded.html.