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Special Olympics - Catalyst for Social Change

The Special Olympics is a sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities and an effective catalyst for social change. "Their mission is one that our organization can relate to", says PRISM's President and CEO Linda H. Stokes. "That is why we sponsored several Special Olympics Florida athletes. We want others to know more about this organization and the wonderful work they perform globally".

Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization (Section 501 (c)(3)) dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in 30 Olympic-type summer and winter sports. They currently serve 2.5 million people with intellectual disabilities in more than 200 Programs in over 180 countries.

Today, Special Olympics stands as a leader in the field of intellectual disability. It is a global movement, with more than 500,000 athletes in China, more than 210,000 in India, almost 550,000 in the United States, more than 600 in Afghanistan and 4,400 athletes in Rwanda. Special Olympics World Games were held in Ireland in 2003, in Japan in 2005 and in China in 2007.

Children and adults with intellectual disabilities who participate in Special Olympics 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 new abilities and talents but "their voices" as well.

To get involved, contact your local Special Olympics Program. To locate a Program near you, use their Program Locator.


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