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Project UNIFY is Acceptance

Special Olympics Project UNIFY® is an education-based program that uses the sports and education initiatives of Special Olympics to activate youth to promote school communities where all young people are agents of change – fostering respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. But it is much more.

What is Project UNIFY?

Leaders of Tomorrow. Jenny Cusack of Special Olympics Delaware completes a team activity during the 2010 Special Olympics Youth Activation Summit in Omaha, Nebraska. 

Project UNIFY is acceptance. Project UNIFY is unity. Project UNIFY is youth driven. Project UNIFY is friendship. Project UNIFY is fun.

Project UNIFY is a U.S. national project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education. It is much more than a re-naming of existing school-based programs; rather, it is an innovative response to the unequivocal research that shows Special Olympics local programming can contribute to eradicating the social and environmental walls to inclusion.

Special Olympics believes that through sports young people can make a difference in friendships, schools and communities. Special Olympics Project UNIFY® incorporates Special Olympics sports and related activities; however, Project UNIFY is committed to a movement advocating for youth as change agents now and in the future.

Project UNIFY initiatives include a host of core activities, like Spread the Word to End the Word®, Unified Sports®, Get Into It®, Young Athletes® and more. With 38 active U.S. State programs, Project UNIFY is currently featured in over 1,700 schools and engaging more than 600,000 young people. 

A Catalyst for Change

The magic of Project UNIFY is manifested in the inclusive friendships formed as youth with and without intellectual disabilities work together as leaders to create communities of caring and respect. Youth become core leaders in their school communities using Unified Sports® and Spread the Word to End the Word® as the catalyst for fostering positive school climates.

Are you ready to join our movement? Find a Special Olympics Program in your neighborhood and see how you can begin to change your school and community. Or visit our Resources Homepage for more information on getting involved with Special Olympics Project UNIFY.