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Choose to Include in Your Workplace

Robert "Bobby" Jones leaning over with his hands on a conference room table with a sign that reads "Thank You" sprawled across the table in front of him.

My name is Robert Jones and I work in the Brand, Communications and Content department at Special Olympics International. I have worked at headquarters for 21 years. I work on projects where I can contribute my artwork and use my unique point of view as a Special Olympics athlete. In 2011, I traveled to Athens, Greece to work at the Special Olympics World Games, where I interviewed athletes and leaders from all over the world. Last year I designed the logo for Special Olympics’ Capitol Hill Day. You can also see my artwork on Special Olympics’ annual holiday card!

Robert "Bobby" Jones standing next to a large version of his coloring book he made for the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary celebration. The coloring book was sponsored by Johnson and Johnson.
Robert Jones poses with the poster he designed for Capitol Hill Day 2018.

When I started my job at Special Olympics in 1997, I designed the logo for Camp Shriver, a camp for people with intellectual disabilities. My goal was to create a logo that told the athletes that they were in a safe place where they could grow and have fun learning different sports. It was important to our founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, that a Special Olympics athlete designed the logo because we know how important it is to create something that is inclusive of people from all backgrounds. Even though other people could only see disability when they looked at Special Olympics athletes, Mrs. Shriver knew that we had a lot to offer. I do my best to honor her vision when I come to work every day.

Camp Shriver logo designed by Robert Jones. Black flag with white illustrations and words.
Camp Shriver logo designed by Robert Jones.

This year I had another opportunity to use my art and teach people about inclusion. In July 2018, I made the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Coloring Book. I made this book because I want people to learn about Special Olympics and have a better understanding of what we are about. I also want to teach people about the importance of inclusion in a way that helps them unwind from a stressful day. My hope is that it teaches young people that their peers with intellectual disabilities are just like everybody else. Even if the coloring book only changes one person’s mind about people with intellectual disabilities, then the book did its job. You can download the PDF of the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Coloring Book HERE for free!

This month is National Disability Employee Awareness Month and I want people to know that people with intellectual disabilities are like everybody else. We just learn differently. If you are an employer, I encourage you to hire people with intellectual disabilities because we are great employees. You should not feel sorry for us. We are hard workers who want to do our best for you and your company. If you want to hire employees who get the job done and help you make your workplace more inclusive, we will help you reach your goal!