We are a global organization with programs in 170 countries. This site may be customized by language and geographic region.
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 over 4.5 million athletes of all ages with intellectual disabilities 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 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.
Your efforts will help transform more lives through the joy of sports. Get started today!
Donate with confidence on our secure server.
Newsletter: Sign up and get inspiring stories!
Make a Difference
My Aunt Gina was born with Downs in 1953. My grandmother was told she would never amount to anything. Well, that was the biggest misconception ever!
By maria acuapa
My brother taught me that no matter what health condition you have, you can be strong enough to prove to people that you are like them and they should not judge you for what you have but for what you know and can do.
My brother was born with special needs. It wasn't i was in the 7th grade that people and my friends really started to use the r-word. I actually had my friends sit down with me and the counselor to discuss why the word should not be used for fun.
i have a learning disability which means my brain different from a normal brain
My Uncle was a challenged man. We were not supposed to the R word by itself but it was considered ok to say MENTALLY R word. He could juggle play piano guitar all by ear & was not taught.
Every time I hear the R-word, I cringe. Not only because its a distasteful, rude and just plain hateful word, but also because my little brother has Asperger's.
I have been able to spread the knowledge of people with disabilities by way of group projects and have refused to and refused to let those around me use the R word in my presence. People think that we help teach people like my sister but in truth, they teach us.
Karen Bradshaw, Proud Mom and Supporter
Special Olympics is a part of my son's life and will always be. Thanks to the organization for making my son feel that he can compete in sports!
I have a disabled adult child who was disabled in a car wreck when she was 14 and when she returned to school with her disabilities her so-called friends used the r-word in reference to her and she would come home crying on a regular basis.
My daughter means the world to me and the use of the R word is deeply repulsive to me and hurtful. I know people use it in context that doesn't really intend to offend me, but it does.
During my middle school years I've heard the r-word used so many times. Every time I hear it I cringe just a little. It annoys me because I've grown up around people with intellectual disability. My cousin actually has intellectual disability so it hits home when people say the r word.
My son is 3 and a half with a severe developmental delay. I hate when people say "retarded" because the word is so disconnected to what my reality of having a child with special needs is all about.
As a teacher of special needs students, I have often corrected students if they say the R word. Now, we finally have also removed the term "Mental Retardation" from their paper work and school records.
As a mother of a disabled child it hurts me when I hear someone refer to someone by using the "R" word. It is hurtful and we need to make everyone aware that it hurts so many.