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Posted by on Mar 13, 2011 in Current Info | 0 comments

House Bill Threatens Life of Critical Special Olympics Programs

Through on-going partnerships with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Federal Government, Special Olympics has been able to provide critical services to people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in the areas of health, education and employment. The proposed House Appropriations Continuing Resolution (CR) Bill for 2011, schedule for vote as early as February 17, proposes dramatic cuts, if not total elimination, of the Federal money that serves as the majority of funds that allow these programs to operate. What are the areas of Special Olympics that would be affected by these cuts? Health Despite a public perception that people with ID receive better health care than those without ID, our research shows the opposite is true. In response to this glaring need, our Healthy Athletes program has provided more than 1 million FREE health care screenings to our athletes. Employment Our research shows that 52% of working age Special Olympics athletes are employed, compared to just 10% of working age people with ID that are not in Special Olympics. Education Special Olympics Project UNIFY is in 43 U.S. States, 15,000 schools and reaches 600,000 students and employs a variety of intervention strategies to build school environments where all young people feel safe, valued and empowered to stand-up to bullying. These programs, services and the data that demonstrates their impact and need is possible because the majority of funds to support this work is provided by the U.S. Federal Government. The proposed House Appropriations (CR) Bill for 2011, scheduled to be voted on as early as February 17, could dramatically slash or eliminate the Federal money that is the gross majority of funds that allow these programs to operate. The good news is YOU can do something about it. If you support the work Special Olympics does for people with intellectual disabilities in these areas you can: Go to www.contactingthecongress.org and send a message to your local congressman telling them, “As a constituent in your district/state, I urge you to VOTE NO on the House Appropriations CR Bill for 2011.” Please feel free to share a brief personal story or note as to why you do not want them to support this bill. Share this post with your friends and social networks via email and Facebook urging them to speak out. If you use Twitter, you can tweet @ your member of Congress. Almost all of them have a presence on Twitter, which means that because it is a public forum, you can guarantee someone monitors the account. So tweet @ your member of Congress! Use this website to find your member

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