Eligible participates have been identified by an agency or professional as having: intellectual disabilities, cognitive delays as measured by formal assessment, or significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delay that require or have required specifically designed instruction. It does not cost anything to participate.
Impact on Athletes
Special Olympics participants develop improved physical fitness and motor skills, greater self-confidence and a more positive self-image. They grow mentally, socially and spiritually and, through their activities, exhibit boundless courage and enthusiasm, enjoy the rewards of friendship and ultimately discover not only their abilities and talents but "their voices" as well.
Individuals with Disabilities
Yes, individuals with profound intellectual disabilities are able to participate in Special Olympics! With the aid of Special Olympics Motor Activities Training Program (MATP), developed by physical educators, physical therapists and recreation therapists, participants excel in events such as Challenge Days. MATP emphasizes training and participation rather than competition.