The 88-year-old founder of the Special Olympics died today in Hyannis, Mass. Patricia Bauer has compiled several news articles on Shriver’s life at her own blog, Disability News. The Special Olympics has put together its own tribute page as well.
Shriver’s speech at the 1987 Special Olympics World Games is being quoted and re-quoted today as a part of her legacy. And it belongs on this blog too, because it speaks to the very reason “special education” exists—not as a gift, but an entitlement:
The right to play on any playing field? You have earned it. The right to study in any school? You have earned it. The right to hold a job? You have earned it. The right to be anyone’s neighbor? You have earned it.
Words to remember.
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.