We may all be unique, but we all deserve to be treated the same. However, for those with intellectual disabilities, this is rarely the case. People often think of these individuals as “special” cases, which can lead to exclusion. However, this is just simply not fair. There are around 80,000 children living in the United States with an intellectual disability and around 1 in 8 adults live with these conditions as well. This is not something that can be ignored. To give you an idea as to just how many people we are talking about, consider that
Approximately 6.5 million people in the United States have a developmental disability, and as many as 200 million worldwide
65% of parents say their child has been bullied more than other children in school
92% of adults with mental disability are able to live independently or with family members.
It isn’t a big leap to say that this enormous group of people deserves the type of social inclusion and love that many of us receive on a daily basis. They want the same things and deserve the same things—just like anyone else.
Sports are a fantastic opportunity to express to someone that they are respected and included. The feeling of being part of a team and of working together towards a common goal is something many of us take for granted but that is a tremendously rewarding experience. To help provide these individuals with the opportunity to experience this, Coupla Guys and Gals works with various organizations to help those with disabilities get in on the game and feel like one of the group.
This sense of community, the environment of experience and the overwhelming fun to be had help to foster inclusion and compassion between people that might not otherwise have the chance to get to know each other. This type of connection is essential for working to improve the lives of those with intellectual disabilities.