Special Olympics knows that young people are the future policymakers, educators and business leaders of this world. We are committed to opening minds and increasing participation in the Special Olympics movement. Through a variety of programs, we offer many ways for young people to get involved, discover their voices as leaders, and help change the world for the better.
Special Olympics Unified Sports brings approximately equal numbers of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities together on the sports fields to learn from one another in a context of teamwork and participation. Unified Sports is an important program because it expands sports opportunities for athletes seeking new challenges and increases integration in the community.
Special Olympics is changing attitudes where lessons of ability, acceptance and inclusion are taught on the fields of competition by our greatest teachers – the athletes. Thousands of young people across the United States and around the world have kicked off a campaign dedicated to making people think about their casual use of the word "retard." Take the pledge.
Special Olympics' free Get Into It® learning curriculum for schools K-12, implemented in countries around the world, celebrates the diverse gifts of every student, whatever his or her ability, and introduces young students to community service through a group service-learning project.
And Special Olympics Youth Summits pair up students with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 12 to 17, and gather them as delegates to discuss ways to improve our movement and reverse negative stereotypes and attitudes about intellectual disability. Global Youth Summits cross cultural and geographical barriers to address issues of acceptance facing young people worldwide.
Special Olympics is proud of its long history working with, and learning from, young people around the world. Bring a Special Olympics Program to your school, download Get Into It, and check out Project UNIFY or SO College. Help us change more attitudes and open more doors for people with intellectual disabilities worldwide.
For more information on youth engagement, please contact Trish Lutz at 800.846.2682.