Teens and college students are the future leaders of Special Olympics.
It's the mission of Special Olympics to show the world the capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
We have more than 5.6 million athletes with intellectual disabilities and unified partners around the world.
Our celebrity supporters are Olympians, professional athletes, social leaders, and movie and music stars.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a pioneer in the struggle for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities.
Direction for our movement comes from leaders in government, entertainment, sports and business.
All adults and children with intellectual disabilities can become Special Olympics athletes. Here's how.
Get involved with Special Olympics in your neighborhood. Find the program nearest you.
Get involved with our Unified Sports, a quick path to friendship and fun.
Special Olympics has events and competitions happening in places all around the world. View our events.
Get results by sport and team for major Special Olympics competitions.
Explore how Special Olympics is creating a more inclusive, welcoming world for all.
Your gift of $35 will help train an athlete for an entire season. Give today!
Discover the many ways you can support Special Olympics through your estate plans.
Make a donation and send a card in celebration or honor of a loved one.
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Make a Difference
Rebecca Marie Shepherd
I have always hated the r word, as some of those with that "label" are some of the smartest people I know. They figure out quickly how to play life's games.
As I got older I realized that people were unconsciously using the R-word...and I was not okay with that.
Amy Lou Boyd
I had no one to love and no one loved me. Then in summer of 2008, I found a team called the Emporia Indies.
I often run into people who don't understand why officers carrying a torch through their hometown is such a big deal. One boy does.
As a young person, I used the word because I thought it was funny, but once my dad told me how one of his sisters was called by the "r-word" at school, it made me sick inside thinking about every time I said it.
KUAthletics.com Copyright 2016 University of Kansas
My name is Rachel and I have Down syndrome and my boyfriend to and his name is Alex he also has Down syndrome too. using the R word affects all people in this country and I want it to stop.
Earlier this year people kept treating me like I'm nothing to them. They told secrets, never admitted what they did to me, used me to get in trouble.
A group of students from Kansas City, Kansas have joined the campaign, and began spreading the message at a school-wide pep rally earlier this week.
I am 17 and I am autistic. I stim a lot (which means I flap my hands and yell and jump up and down) because I get very excited and happy sometimes. I am not intellectually disabled- Yet I have been called "retard" so many times from complete strangers.
People at my school call me the R word and more. It happend for 4 years straight it was so horrible.
I also thought they where my friend and then they said they hate me that hurt the most.
You're going the wrong way!!!! All of this shunning, has BECOME ASSOCIATED with boys and girls with downs syndrome and other similar DNA defects!
"It's just a word, what's the big deal?," my friends would say. Yes it is a word. A hurtful word. Little do they know that my family tree is packed with relatives that have intellectual disabilities. Autism, Asperger's, Downe's Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy.
This is my story. I was slow as a kid, disabled as an adult, was bullied in school, and it made me cry. People call me r word. Got out school, thought it would be OK but it got worse.
In 2004 we were chosen to be the parents of a most wonderful son, Chase. He was a #2 preemie that wasn't supposed to live. At his birth we learned he also had T21 or Down Syndrome.
Bill Mondt III
I have a younger sister who has Downs. I have lost friends, gotten into fights, walked out of classes, been asked to leave classes just because of of others using that word.
West Spreads the Word to End the Word!
Students within the Life Skills III classroom at West Middle School learned about the National Campaign, Spread the Word to End the Word. Students wanted to help the cause and make students and staff aware that words can hurt.
Ive listened and fought with people my whole life about using the r word. Im so happy someone is finally putting a stop to it!! Thank you so much
I remember when my daughter first started school and was tested on strengths and the teachers conclusion was that she has an intellectual disability.
The Interpersonal Skills class at Lawrence High School in Lawrence, KS created this PSA to spread the word to end the word.
I was placed in special education in the 4th grade. I thought it was going to be the end of everything. I was held back a grade and went into a long depression.
Michael has taught me so much about love, patience, understanding and acceptance...all while being non-verbal. The r-word was removed from my vocabulary long ago.