Norbie and Chapman represent Montana at the 2016 Capitol Hill Day

Norbie and Chapman represent Montana at the 2016 Capitol Hill Day

MT Delegation_SOHillDay2016

WASHINTON DC, February 10, 2016 – Special Olympics athletes, leaders, and family members from 39 states will converge on Capitol Hill on February 10 for Special Olympics’ 14th annual “Capitol Hill Day.”  Throughout the day, Special Olympics athletes from across the nation will hold more than 250 face-to-face meetings with their Congressional representatives to advocate for continued federal support for critical health and education services provided by Special Olympics. These services transcend the playing field and transform the lives of athletes and families, bringing inclusion and greater acceptance of all abilities to classrooms across the country and providing essential health care that is otherwise often unavailable due to the lack of trained health care providers and facilities.

Special Olympics self-advocates will educate lawmakers and their staffs about the significant consequences that arise from the stigma and stereotypes that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities face and how that impacts their lives in the areas of sports, health care, education, and employment. The goal is to effectively convey the high-impact and cost-effectiveness of Special Olympics’ evidence-based programming that addresses these issues and to secure continued support from legislators.

Montana’s athletes, unified partners and families will be represented by Special Olympics Montana athlete Patrick Chapman of Great Falls and President/CEO Bob Norbie. Chapman and Norbie will be meeting face-to-face with Senator Tester, Senator Daines, and Caroline Boulton from the office Representative Zinke to ensure that Montanans with intellectual disabilities are top-of-mind when critical decisions are made for the country.

“The federal government is a critical partner in making life-changing programs like Unified Strategy for Schools and Healthy Athletes possible. Our Montana delegation understands the importance of these partnerships,” stated Bob Norbie. “We truly appreciate their ongoing support.”

February 10, Montana’s Capitol Hill Day – Meeting Schedule:

11:30 pm         Caroline Boulton, office of Rep. Ryan Zinke

3:45 pm           Senator Jon Tester

5:00 pm           Senator Steve Daines

“The Special Olympics movement has been a leader in connecting people with intellectual disabilities and encouraging greater understanding and inclusion across the world,” said Mary Davis, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Special Olympics. “The U.S. Government’s partnership with Special Olympics to support Americans with intellectual disabilities has helped to raise awareness and catalyze support from governments around the globe for people with intellectual disabilities.”

Special Olympics Chairman, Timothy P. Shriver, said “the U.S. Government has been a steadfast champion of the Special Olympics movement which fights against inactivity, injustice, and intolerance of people with intellectual disabilities. We have been successful partners in working to create a unified America through inclusive sports, education and health programs. Together we need to continue working towards ensuring Americans with intellectual disabilities have the same rights, respect, access to services, and opportunities as all other Americans.”

Capitol Hill Day will conclude with a private reception at the Library of Congress for participating Special Olympics athletes and their state delegations.

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