By David Brand
The Kosciuszko Bridge will shine scarlet Saturday in recognition of the Special Olympics “Global Day of Inclusion,” which promotes the end of discrimination against people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the illumination plan on Friday. Niagara Falls and the Mario Cuomo Bridge will also glow crimson in honor of the Special Olympics.
“As the country's most diverse state and home to its largest Special Olympics chapter, New York is proud to be a leader in the acceptance of all people,” Cuomo said.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their advocates have for years demanded an end the use of discriminatory language, like the “R word” and other slurs, while pushing for inclusion and equity.
Special Olympics New York serves more than 67,000 athletes, including children and adults.
“It fills our hearts and inspires our community to see these stunning New York State landmarks light up red as we celebrate a Global Day of Inclusion,” said Special Olympics New York President and CEO Stacey Hengsterman, who added the the awareness campaign “continues to help us change the game for children and adults with intellectual disabilities through the power of inclusive sports and communities.”