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Special Olympics Research Study

Status and Prospects: An International Review of the State of Intellectual Disability Surveillance

This research scientifically confirmed the widely acknowledged position that people with intellectual disabilities are excluded from many aspects of society worldwide. While there are some differences in countries, both rich and poor countries do a poor job of maintaining information about this population. Of 128 data-gathering tools evaluated across 12 countries, 66% included information about general disability but only 27% specifically addressed intellectual disability.

Originally designed to develop a broad-based index of common characteristics and current status of people with ID, the study concluded that this was not a realistic goal given the general lack of data available. The research findings include specific recommendations for improving data collection for each country studied.

Separate reports were completed for each of the 12 countries included in the research.