Special Olympics Florida and Leading Florida Businesses Promote Inclusion in the Workplace

The 2022 Race for Inclusion Supports People with Intellectual Disabilities Across Florida

CLERMONT, Fla., Oct. 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Special Olympics Florida and its community partners are once again championing the cause of inclusion in the workplace through the second annual statewide Race for Inclusion.  

The 2022 Race for Inclusion features a series of races and fundraisers throughout the state to raise funds to support the nearly 60,000 athletes served by Special Olympics Florida each year. Members of the public are encouraged to participate and can find a full list of events, dates, and locations at RaceforInclusion.org.  

But the Race for Inclusion is much more than a fundraiser. 

It is a campaign to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities (ID) receive the opportunities they deserve and an invitation to Florida’s business community to demonstrate its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Special Olympics Florida believes such initiatives must take into account people with ID, a group that represents 3 percent of the world’s population but which often struggles to find employment due to prejudice and misconceptions. 

“Our athletes – and people with ID everywhere – have tremendous potential and truly impressive skills that make them an invaluable part of the workforce and their community,” said Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock. “Through our sports programs and campaigns like the Race for Inclusion, we are spreading the word that people with ID can do remarkable things. They can be amazing athletes or employees or students, if they are just given a chance.” 

Some companies already know that. 

Special Olympics Florida partners like Accenture — the Race for Inclusion Official Strategy Partner — Publix, TD Bank and CSX recognize the talents and potential of people with ID and promote their inclusion in the workplace. 

“At Accenture, we have an unwavering commitment to inclusion and diversity,” said McIvor Mann, managing director with Accenture. “Our diversity makes us smarter and more innovative and we also know from our research that creating an inclusive environment, where every person feels like they belong, can unlock significantly more human potential.”

Two Race for Inclusion events will take place in October, which is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The month recognizes the vital roles that people with disabilities play in the nation’s workforce.

“All of us at the Agency for Persons with Disabilities know how meaningful Special Olympics Florida is to our many athletes that compete,” said APD Director Barbara Palmer. “It takes dedication and hard work which is the foundation for excellence in the employment arena. Businesses know that individuals with unique abilities are some of the most reliable employees within their organization. We applaud Special Olympics Florida for the lifelong and important experiences provided to individuals with unique skills.” 

To learn how to get involved with the Race for Inclusion, visit RaceforInclusion.org

About Special Olympics Florida 
Now celebrating its 50th Anniversary, Special Olympics Florida provides year-round sports training and competition, crucial health services, and life-changing leadership programs to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It serves nearly 60,000 Special Olympics athletes annually, at no cost to athletes or their families. To learn more, visit www.specialolympicsflorida.org.

Media Contact:
Monica McShaffrey
Uproar PR for Special Olympics Florida