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Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) Partnership
LCIF has been one of the movement’s longest standing and most global of partners. Since 2000, LCIF has brought generous financial support, volunteer engagement and youth development to over 100 nations around the world. Under the global partnership’s Mission: Inclusion banner, Special Olympics and LCIF have scaled key programs and services that bring lasting support to individuals with intellectual disabilities, including eye health and vision care (Opening Eyes), inclusive sports programming (Unified Sports), family health education (Family Health Forums), community leadership training (Leadership Academies), refugee support (Unified with Refugees), national partnership development and much more.  


A Partnership

Lions Clubs International Foundation has been supporting the Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Foundation Opening Eyes® Program for 23 years. Since the partnership’s inception in 2000, the Lions Clubs International Foundation has provided over 300,000 Special Olympics athletes with quality vision care.

In 2013, Special Olympics and Lions Clubs International Foundation expanded their partnership to include new areas of collaboration beyond vision – including Unified Sports®, youth activation, family support, Healthy Hearing and Athlete Leadership. Lions continue to play a key role in the success of Opening Eyes through hands-on event support.

Mission: Inclusion


Creation of the first-ever vision care curriculum for eye care professionals on how best to treat individuals with intellectual disabilities

23 Year Partnership

Over 400,000 athletes receiving quality vision care

Support for Unified Sports®, youth activation, family support and Healthy Hearing, and Athlete Leadership

Creation of 15+ Champion Lions Clubs worldwide

Distributing glasses, sunglasses and sports goggles to athletes

14 nations implementing Unified with Refugees activities


> Healthy Athletes® volunteer

Provide non-clinical exam support

> Family Health Forum volunteer

Participate in Family Health Forums by serving as a guest speaker, organizer or promoter

> Skilled Professional volunteer

Use your skills and expertise – such as photography, fundraising, medicine or First Aid, public relations, etc. – to provide support to your local Program

> Games or Event volunteer

Serve as a volunteer during Special Olympics Games as an athlete escort, awards presenter, scorekeeper, announcer and more

> Coach or Official

Become a Special Olympics coach and organize a team or officiate at trainings and Games

> Unified Sports partner

Join a Special Olympics Unified Sports team and play your favorite sport with people with and without intellectual disabilities. Or,encourage your local Leos to join Unified teams and become part of the Unified Generation.

> Mentor an Athlete Leader

Provide ongoing support and encouragement to a trained athlete leader who is taking on a new role within Special Olympics.

Special Olympics LCIF Opening Eyes®


Eye Health and Vision Screenings


Prescription Eyewear


Volunteer Lions


Volunteer Professionals

Family Health Forum


Total Number of Family Health Forums


Total Participants (families, athletes, volunteers, other, speakers)
  • 18,168 Athletes
  • 34,838 Family Members
  • 2,465 Total number of speakers 462 were Lions Members


Unique SO Programs implementing FHF

Unified Sports


Number of National Programs


Athletes Engaged


Leos Engaged


Unified Partners


All countries and states with active Special Olympics Programs are run by volunteer or full-time Program Directors. The contact details for all Programs may be found by searching for Program Locator on

Program leaders will be able to direct you to Special Olympics Programs in your area and can provide details of major events or exams where your involvement and support would be greatly appreciated.