The following is a guest post from Karlyn Emile, Director of the Special Olympics Florida Healthy Community location in South Florida.
Healthy Community is a premier health care delivery approach that focuses on the whole person with an intellectual or developmental disability. At Special Olympics Florida and Healthy Community, we believe that good health is necessary for these individuals to secure the freedom to work, learn, and better engage with their families and communities. For these reasons, Special Olympics Florida compiled specific goals and objectives to ensure the success of the newly launched Healthy Community in Hollywood, FL after it opened its doors for the first time in February 2013. Those goals include the following: Read More
The following is a guest post from Brenda Hayes, whose granddaughter is a Special Olympics Florida athlete in St. Lucie County.
Danielle Moran Edwards is a wonderful 15 year-old young lady who also just happens to be our granddaughter. It’s been a little over a year that we have taken full custody of her. Like so many other grandparents we found ourselves with such a blessing and such a great responsibility. And even though she has multiple disabilities, this does not stop her from trying to be the best she can be… especially with all that Special Olympics Florida has to offer. Read More
The Flame of Hope is a powerful symbol. For Special Olympics, the iconic flame delivers inspiration, as well as a message of awareness for social change, as it’s carried by athletes and members of the law enforcement community across the globe. Read More
What’s your New Year resolution? Losing weight and getting healthy might be at the top of your list – but at Special Olympics Florida, the health of our athletes is a focus 365 days a year. With the help of 1,200 volunteer health care professionals and students, Special Olympics Florida has made a resolution for the New Year to continue to improve health services available to all people with intellectual disabilities. Read More
The following is a Letter to the Editor written by Special Olympics Florida CEO/President Sherry Wheelock and published in the Miami Herald on January 2, 2014. This letter was in response to a Christmas Day profile of Emmitt McCoy, a Miami athlete.
Emmitt McCoy, a vibrant Miami man who has an intellectual disability and a set of broken dentures he can’t afford to replace, was profiled in the Miami Herald’s Wish Book story on Christmas day. McCoy’s story resonates deeply with me not just because he is a Special Olympics athlete but also because it sheds light on an all-too-common occurrence: People with intellectual and developmental disabilities get inferior healthcare — if and when they get it — even though most people believe the opposite. Statistically, people with intellectual disabilities are one of the largest and most medically under-served disability groups in the world. Read More
It’s a rainy Tuesday evening but the weather doesn’t dampen the attitude of Special Olympics athlete Matt Brown. “Tonight, I’m going to bowl at 900%,” he says as he carries his bowling bag into the alley at First Baptist Church in Merritt Island where he meets his league each Tuesday night. Before the lanes buzz to life, lit and ready for practice, Matt slips on his bowling shoes, fills out the score sheet and sets up his two favorite bowling balls. This is a routine that he’s come to develop over time; Matt started bowling 45 years ago when he was only 9 years old – and he’s still going strong. Like clockwork, he bowls twice a week; one day with his league and another with his Special Olympics team.