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Young students in an inclusive classroom having lunch together | Monkey Business Images/

If you caught #WorldDownSyndromeDay on March 21st, you came across an explosion of celebration of people with Down syndrome. Every few seconds from somewhere in the world, someone was tweeting a picture of a person with Down syndrome on their wedding day, or a kid wearing their “my homie with an extra chromie” shirt, or feet in inclusive classrooms and workplaces rocking their mismatched socks, or families expressing the most profound love for their relatives with Down syndrome. That hard-won celebration is a direct outcome of Special Olympics.

Special Olympics is more than a sports opportunity for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). It is, as it was designed to be, a forum for demonstrating passion, ability, courage, effort, and the very best of sportsmanship, that is, competition coupled with grace and teamwork. In essence, a place to feed and put on display all of the best characteristics of human learning. To be recognized as a learner is one of our most fundamental human needs. It establishes our value and gains us entry into whatever environment — school, the sports field, work — where learning is taking place. …


Sam Johnston

Director of Postsecondary Education and Workforce Development at CAST.

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