17 July 2019 | All over the world, Special Olympics is igniting change through sparks of inclusion. This month, Special Olympics are excited to help turn these sparks into a flame during Global Week of Inclusion.
As part of the celebrations, Melbourne Cricket Ground will light up red as a powerful statement of support for Special Olympics Australia and people with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics Australia Chief Executive Officer, Corene Strauss emphasized the importance of the celebrating all abilities including the estimated 711,000 Australians with intellectual disabilities.
“Global Week of Inclusion is an important occasion to demonstrate tolerance, respect and difference. Inclusion is all about togetherness. In celebrating all our abilities, we create something more beautiful and powerful in the collective than we could alone.
“As part of a worldwide celebration of Global Week of Inclusion, we’re asking people to commit to a world of togetherness of inclusion – by signing our Inclusion Pledge.
“By simply choosing to include people with intellectual disabilities, we are improving their lives. Choosing to include them in sport and physical activity programs profoundly affects their lives in positive ways, most notably in building self-confidence, friendships and self-esteem.
“The employability of Special Olympics Australia athletes demonstrates this. The national employment average for people with intellectual disabilities is around 35%. For athletes competing with Special Olympics Australia, that jumps to over 63%.
“Inclusion is a choice we all have the ability to make and this year we’d like to see as many Australians as possible choose to include,” Corene Strauss said.