Program Research Toolkit

Special Olympics has documented the need for its programming and its effects on athletes, families, volunteers, and others. Our carefully planned and academically rigorous research studies have discovered results that are sometimes surprising.


Scope of the Need

People with intellectual disabilities are excluded, dismissed, and denied opportunities for employment, education, health care, social engagement, and other aspects of daily life.


Scope of Special Olympics

Many people are unaware of the scope of Special Olympics. They think of it as an occasional sporting event in the United States that benefits children with intellectual disabilities. While this may have been true at the organization’s start, today Special Olympics is much much more. 


Impact of Special Olympics

Every day, Special Olympics strives to empower people with intellectual disabilities worldwide with the goal of building a world of inclusion and mutual respect, without bias or prejudice. While this goal is ongoing, research has shown that the movement has made a significant impact on its athletes, the families of athletes, and the community at large.


Special Olympics Initiatives

Central to the success of Special Olympics programming is the evaluation of its initiatives. By thorough and scientific examination, Special Olympics can determine the effectiveness of its programs and make changes to them to maximize impact.


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Volunteer Near You

Volunteering with Special Olympics is fun and very rewarding, for both the athlete and the volunteer!

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Find events near you and learn about volunteer opportunities at one of our 220 worldwide locations. 

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Videos and Photos

DifferentBarry Cairns tells what it's like to be a Special Olympics athlete.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

SpeechlessSpecial Olympics changed her life in deep and meaningful ways.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Summer GamesAround the world, months of practice are paying off.See Slideshow »


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Photos on FBSee photos and comments from our supporters around the world.See Photos »


Videos and Photos

Hope in HaitiLeo and Gedeon play in makeshift fields, tent towns, wherever they can.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Finding His VoiceDavid Egan has always dreamed big. Now look at him!Learn More »


Videos and Photos

Sport Teaches UsOur life-changing work is fueled by the power of sport.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Making SuccessDoctors said Lani is “never going to achieve anything.” Learn More »


Videos and Photos

Very Very SpecialMusic helps Special Olympics make an impact worldwide.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Around The WorldGreat photos of Special Olympics events and people.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Focus on ChangeWhat we do can't be done without our partners.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »


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What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »


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Who We AreWe are athletes, families, celebs, volunteers and more.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Playing UnifiedUnified Sports reveals strengths in every team member.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Healthier AthletesOur free health clinics are making a huge difference.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Deon NamisebHe's a speaker and role model. It didn't start that way in Namibia.Learn More »


Special Olympics Blog

Health Needs Need Closer Examination

"You can't compete if your feet hurt, if your teeth hurt or if your ears ache."read more »

Posted on 2014-04-07 by Ryan

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