What These Athletes Want You to Know About People With Disabilities


The Special Olympics World Games aim to make the Earth a more inclusive place, to better the world for the 200 million people with an intellectual disability. While we couldn’t talk to all 6,500 athletes who participated in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles this summer, we were able to ask some participants what they think everybody should know about people with disabilities. Here’s what they had to say.

1. “I want them to know that people with disabilities are good people and they can participate in any sport.” — Reagan Robinson (Zimbabwe, Golf)

2. “See the ability first then after see the disability.” — Tess Trojan (Canada, Golf)

3. “That we can pretty much achieve anything we want to as far as jobs and life.” — Jennifer Maddox (US, Equestrian)

4. “We are who we are and we are like everyone else.” — Janine Schwirblatt (Germany, Equestrian)

5. “Just treat them like any ordinary people. You know, just because people has an intellectual disability or disability doesn’t say that they’re not the same kind of people.” Oliver Doherty (Ireland, Golf)


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Other

I Used to Apologize for Our Special Needs Family in Public. Now I Do This.

Growing up with a socially different mom had its challenges, and most of them were made up in my head. When all eight of us kids were small and growing up with a single mom struggling financially, you’d imagine going out for meals would be an almost-never experience. And yet, because my mom knows the [...]

44 People With Disabilities On Whether Or Not They Want to Be Your Inspiration

Whether or not being called “an inspiration” is a good thing is a polarizing question in the disability community, with passionate people on both sides of the argument. Although it’s ultimately up to the individual as to whether or not they want to receive it as a compliment, we at The Mighty decided to ask our [...]

Why I’m Apologizing to the Mom With the Screaming Child at Walmart

To the mom in Walmart: I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all of the staring and upset people looking at you like you couldn’t control your son. I’m sorry I looked, too, and was a little upset but tried not to look it. I’m sure you didn’t even notice me, what with everyone staring at your family [...]

When My Father’s Mental Illness Made Him Think I Was Dead

I remember getting the call that my father had been rushed to the VA hospital in Phoenix. He had been in and out of the hospital a lot lately and each time seemed worse than the last. I remember it was late — by the time I pulled into the hospital parking lot it was dark. [...]