Friday, August 14, 2009

National Head Start Association Mourns Passing of Eunice Shriver

Here's is what NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci had to say this week about the life of first-sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics and mother of California first lady Maria Shriver:
"We send our condolences to the Shriver and Kennedy families. Throughout her life Eunice Kennedy Shriver impacted the lives of millions of Americans through her advocacy, promotion of research, and non-profit entrepreneurial skills. Influenced by the mental retardation of her late sister Rosemary, she was a pioneer in advocating for the rights of disabled, shaping the research agenda of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation to fund mental retardation research, helping to establish the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to conduct research on child and adult health issues, and founding the Special Olympics. Millions of people with mental disabilities in 170 nations have participated in the Special Olympics. Also, I have just learned from reading a tribute by her brother, Senator Edward M. Kennedy that the Americans with Disabilities Act would not have happened without her."

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