Connecting sport, health and community, an intense focus is placed education initiatives to shift society in embracing attitudes of acceptance, respect and inclusion for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Statistics reveal that young people with disabilities face bullying at four times the rate of their nondisabled peers. By partnering with school systems through Unified Champion Schools, Special Olympics develops strategies and initiatives to provide younger generations access to meaningful inclusion and spread a message of respect, acceptance and inclusion for all. Unified Champion Schools has reached pockets all over South Carolina and is developing whole communities that embrace the culture of “Play Unified. Live Unified.”
Special Olympics partners with each individual Unified Champion School to develop its unique combination of initiatives that include Unified Sports, Youth Leadership and Whole-School Engagement.
Examples of initiatives and activities in Unified Champion Schools include inclusive Young Athletes Programs, health education, Unified Physical Education, Respect campaigns, Spread the Word to End the Word (R-Word) initiatives, and creating Unified Clubs or unifying existing clubs and student groups.