"Special Olympics is humanity’s greatest classroom, where lessons of ability, acceptance and inclusion are taught on the fields of competition by our greatest teachers – the athletes"
It's a Worldwide Mission
Special Olympics is working in nearly 200 countries worldwide to open the minds of all people to the gifts and talents of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Programs, World Games, celebrity Global Ambassadors, public advertising campaigns and media coverage are helping to build awareness and opportunity in every corner of the globe.
Part of the Special Olympics mission is educating people about the dignity and gifts of all people, not only those who have intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics sports and youth outreach programs change attitudes and teach sensitivity and understanding of intellectual disabilities. This, in turn, leads to greater opportunities for communities to include them.
Young people are an essential part of this effort. Special Olympics School and Youth outreach is teaching tomorrow’s employers, policy makers and educators about perseverance, inclusion, courage and acceptance.
Are you up for the challenge and join us in our mission to build a better tomorrow?
Special Olympics Opens Windows of Understanding
When people see the seriousness and sense of purpose evident in each Special Olympics athletic event, a window of understanding opens. In hundreds of competitions throughout the year, around the world, people everywhere get the chance to have their eyes opened and their perspectives widened.
Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skill and friendship.
Misconceptions Frame Attitudes
Most attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities are framed by negative stereotypes and misconceptions. Yet when people see Special Olympics athletes in competition, they find their attitudes changing – not just about what those with intellectual disabilities can do, but also about what they themselves can do to help build a better world
What YOU Can Do
Take the R-word pledge to not use the word "retard" to put others down. Tens of thousands already have.
Watch the "World Of Neglect" video to understand the urgent need for Special Olympics programs to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
Visit Special Olympics Fan Community to see videos, photos, blogs, essays and more by, for and about Special Olympics athletes.
Get to know our corporate partners, all of whom support Special Olympics in significant ways.
Pledge Your Support
ACT NOW - pledge your support to eliminate the demeaning use of the r-word.
Tell us what you think. Take the R-word pledge to not use the word "retard" to put others down. Tens of thousands already have.
Thousands of people have taken the pledge to stop using the word "retard" as an insult or a putdown.
HERE ARE A FEW PLEDGERS FEEDBACK TODATE ….
"To use that word towards a group of individuals who all they want is to love and to be loved is extremely hurtful. These individuals don't know how to hate because of your colour or beliefs. We could all learn something from them."
"People do not realize the power that words can carry. Acceptance and tolerance have to be taught at home! We all have something wonderful and exciting to offer."
"Have courage to stand up for what you believe, not to sit idly and be an observer to others using the word. Celebrate the diversity in all people - everyone - no exceptions."
"My brother with Down Syndrome has taught me more than most people in my life. I cannot think of growing up without him! I pledge with joy to remove this word!"
"I want my children to receive the gifts of all kinds of people and take risks as they explore their own gifts and learn how to partner with others, especially folks who are in some way 'different.' The R-word just separates people and dissolves trust."
"I have fought against the use of this word ALL my life. In high school I walked out and refused to play basketball because my coach used this word and refused to apologize. I never played on a team again. Proud we are taking a stand."
"I pledge because of my son. I would never desire for him to be called that and then come home and ask me what it meant! Potential is not dependent upon IQ.”
Think about this...
If we all tell 10 people to stop using this word, and they pledge and tell 10 more people, we will have this around the world in a short time and we will ALL stop using it and start encouraging one another!
Make your pledge to end the R-word today!