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Community Impact

Cities of Inclusion Summit in Philadelphia

Special Olympics Pennsylvania hosted a “Cities of Inclusion” Summit to create a vision for Philadelphia as an inclusive city. 
Two presenters on stage speaking to an audience with America football and Special Olympics materials displayed on the stage.

The distinctive features of an inclusive city are the communities that value everyone and ensure people of all abilities are able to effectively pursue opportunities, safely express themselves, and exercise their rights. 

As part of Special Olympics 50th anniversary celebrations, Philadelphia joined Chicago and Seattle to become one of the first three U.S. locations to commit to becoming an Inclusive City. More than 110 leaders from city government, provider organizations, academia, funders, corporations, and other partners came together during this Summit to commit to creating a city-specific Inclusion Plan. In one session, athlete leaders and members of Special Olympics Pennsylvania staff addressed the need for health care access, and more fitness and wellness programs for people with intellectual disabilities.

Many cities that are moving towards greater inclusion focus on meeting the needs of people with physical disabilities and often don’t take into account the needs of people with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics launched Inclusive Cities to increase awareness about people with intellectual disability in urban settings and to promote more inclusiveness in city planning, programs and services.  

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