Special Olympics is transforming lives and creating communities of acceptance, inclusion and respect – from the youngest age.
Our ambitious goal: to build the first truly Unified Generation through sports — and end injustice, intolerance and inactivity for people with intellectual disabilities everywhere! If you grow up in an inclusive community, you will want to live in – and build – an inclusive world. This is how we are creating the best possible future for all.
All around the world, we are challenging young people to get off the sidelines, embrace inclusion and promote equality in their schools and communities. Our youth activation program – Unified Schools-- is now offered in more than 105,000 schools worldwide, including 6,000 in the U.S. This represents enormous growth in 2017, as we empower millions more young peopleto unite and change the game for everyone.
Why are Unified programs so popular with students and with staff? Because Unified Schools create a welcoming, inclusive school culture that benefits all students– with and without intellectual disabilities (ID).
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Together, these students bring empathy, acceptance and compassion to their schools. As studies show, this reduces bullying and offensive language; it also boosts a positive school environment. Young people also create lasting impact when they bring these lessons to their families, communities and the larger world.
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Building on this popularity and strength, Special Olympics launched a Global Youth Plan in 2017. The goal is to further expand numbers of Unified Schools and Unified youth leaders worldwide. We won’t transform the world by aiming small; Special Olympics is aiming to bring more than 1 million young people into this joyful, inclusive campaign over the next five years.
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What Is a Unified School?
A Unified School participates in Unified Sports at least twice each year.
What Is a Unified Champion School?
A Unified Champion School participates in Unified Sports at least twice each year; offers inclusive youth leadership opportunities; and offers awareness and education activities that reach the majority of the school population.