Thank You, Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver

15 Aug

EKS-podium2

One of the great advocates for the disabled, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, died this week. Her accomplishments are detailed in a post from The Examiner.com— here are a few highlights:

Eunice Kennedy Shriver 

died on Tuesday leaving behind a legacy that rivals that of her famous politician brothers.Not only was she the visionary behind the Special Olympics, but her lifelong advocacy for the mentally disabled also laid the groundwork for the single most important children’s rights legislation in education: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Shriver’s passion for the disabled grew from her close relationship with her intellectually challenged older sister, Rosemary. After witnessing her sister’s sharp decline and placement into a mental heath facility following a lobotomy, Shriver was set on a course to change the lives of the disabled worldwide.

If it were not for her tireless efforts, many disabled would like still be holed away in institutions, with no education or opportunity to live in the community.

As the father of a special needs child, I am grateful for her leadership in raising the profile of individuals with disabilities and helping us learn that the disabled can make meaningful contributions to our world and live joyful lives.

We do have a long way to go, but it is hard to imagine how much further behind we would be without Mrs. Shriver.

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