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.