An estimated 200 million people worldwide have intellectual disabilities. People with intellectual disabilities are among the most neglected and vulnerable groups in the world. In many places, they have limited access to education and health care, and less opportunity for employment. Individuals with intellectual disabilities are often marginalized or ignored, and are more likely to be victims of violence and abuse than the general population.
The Solution Offered by Special Olympics
Special Olympics has created a global platform through sports to educate and communicate the dignity and value of people with intellectual disabilities, and to give them opportunities to showcase their abilities and talents. Special Olympics provides millions of athletes with intellectual disabilities in more than 170 countries the opportunity to experience the power of sport. Sports are understood and celebrated by all people, regardless of race, nationality, gender, economic level or religion. Special Olympics offers 32 different sports training and competition opportunities to athletes ranging from eight to over 80 years old. Special Olympics sports bring out pride, courage and joy in athletes—while inviting families and entire communities to join in the celebration.