Ben Haack at 2019 Special Olympics Asia Pacific Regional Leadership Conference. Image: Special Olympics Asia Pacific
-Ben Haack, Special Olympics Australia Board Member
Recently the American government decided at one stage to remove Special Olympics $18 million funding. After a big uproar he (Donald Trump) changed his mind.
But as Tim so powerfully said, this battle was fought and won by another group. It was fought and waged by the people with disabilities, athletes and families.
Over 1 million people signed and set up petitions on this subject, including people from all over the world, such as myself.
This was the reason. This was in one moment, a situation where the power of this movement stood up. Absolutely having these big celebrities and leaders helped.
To me this should serve as a lesson to this movement and to the reality of politics.
Donald Trump did this because in one moment enough people said no.
We need to keep on building this. Every country has people who need this sort of work to happen. They need Unified Schools and the Inclusion Revolution.
What we need to do is to create more petitions, we need to send more letters to local politicians, we need to write more articles.
I know in my country (Australia) we are trying to get this sort of program happening. To me we need to look at doing the same thing. My country absolutely need this sort of programming. To me we just have to keep pushing. I know I will.
Special Olympics has shown so far to completely change the culture of not only people with disabilities, but people without.
We need to create a ground swelling. A ground swelling so big it can’t be ignored. So I guess I’m saying not only to our leaders, but our Athlete Leaders, we need to do this. So we need to all get together on this.
The success of this should not just be America, but other countries.
Let’s do this.