Inclusion is accepting all people as equals—regardless of ability, ethnicity, age, religion, or gender identity—and ensuring that they have access to the same services and opportunities as everyone else.
Since Special Olympics was founded in 1968, inclusion has been central to our mission and programs: fighting for the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities through the power of sports. We believe that people with intellectual disabilities have a fundamental human right to be included in all spheres of life, and we won’t stop fighting until we create a world that stops putting them on the sidelines, and instead embraces their differences.
That’s why Special Olympics launched the global The Revolution is Inclusion campaign in 2018: to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities and to create a fully inclusive world, where every one of our athletes is seen, respected, and welcomed. Those who sign the Inclusion Pledge promise that they will include people with intellectual disabilities from all backgrounds, who have been marginalized for too long.
What Does Inclusion Mean for People With Intellectual Disabilities?
Special Olympics was founded as a rebellious stand against the injustice, isolation, and intolerance faced by people with intellectual disabilities. Today the fight for inclusion is more relevant than ever. People of all ages, races, genders, cultures, backgrounds, and abilities continue to face discrimination, ignorance, and disrespect.
Together, we have the power to ensure no one is forgotten during this critical time around the world.
Together, we can continue the fight to create an inclusive and welcoming world for all. Be part of a powerful new generation that celebrates ALL abilities—in sports, in schools, in health!
People with intellectual disabilities should have equal access to healthcare. We are working to change health outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities, who on average die 16 years sooner than the general population. Our Inclusive Health programs work to increase critical access to healthcare and dental care.
People with intellectual disabilities should be fully included in schools. The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program supports community inclusion and is proving that when students of all intellectual abilities learn side by side, we can reduce bullying and promote understanding.
“Everyone wants to be seen. Everyone has a voice they want to be heard. Everyone matters. Everyone has a purpose. This is the goal of Inclusion.”
People with intellectual disabilities should be included on the field, mat, and court. Through our Unified Sports program, individuals with and without intellectual disabilities can play together, busting records and stereotypes in the process.
Creating a truly inclusive world will take nothing short of a revolution—people around the world who are willing to come together to support acceptance for others unlike them. That’s why we invite you to join the Inclusion Revolution. By celebrating what makes others unique and letting compassion rule instead of the fear of difference, we can build a more inclusive world.
Join the Inclusion Revolution. Take the Pledge!
The Inclusion Pledge was written by young people—with and without intellectual disabilities—who want to build a unified wold for all. By adding your name, you help to elevate their voices, and demonstrate your commitment to practicing inclusion through your everyday actions. We hope you’ll #ChooseToInclude.