Programs

We are sports, community, education, and health.

We work on and off the playing field to empower people with intellectual disabilities - and those around them - to create a new world of inclusion and community, where every person is accepted and welcomed, regardless of ability or disability.


We have expanded our historic role as a sports organization to become a true social movement. Our vision is to help athletes become healthier, more confident, and capable of serving as leaders - both within Special Olympics and in their communities.

In addition to our core training and competition programs, initiatives like Special Olympics Unified Schools® and Unified Sports® inspire others to open their hearts to a wider world of human talent and potential.

Real Sports

Opportunities to train and compete in our Olympic-style sports call for our athletes to push hard and play harder. They strive to beat their personal bests, defying the odds again and again. From the local ballfields to the shining stage of World Games, our athletes showcase the talents and triumphs of people with intellectual disabilities. Find out more about our sports programs:

Building Communities & Changing Attitudes

Our goal is to awaken everyone - and every community - to each person’s common humanity. We do this through educational and community programs like Unified Schools®, which creates opportunities for students and community members to band together to change attitudes and support our athletes. We also empower our athletes to spread the message of Special Olympics through our Global Messengers speakers bureau. Engage your community through the following programs:

Healthier Athletes

Did you know that people with intellectual disabilities typically receive sub-standard health care, or virtually no health care at all? Many of our athletes come to us with neglected health problems. At Summer Games and Fall Championships, we offer a wide range of free health screenings and care.

Our goal is to bring better fitness, nutrition, and healthier lifestyles to everyone involved in Special Olympics - from athletes and their families, to coaches and volunteers. Learn more about our Healthy Athletes® program.

Join Us

Want to be an athlete? A coach? A volunteer? A supporter?

Find out what's happening near you, and help us transform lives through the joy of sport.

Find Special Olympics Near You