Our goal is to make health and fitness more accessible.

Despite severe need and higher health risks, people with intellectual disabilities (ID) are often denied health services and die on average 16 years sooner than the general population.

Special Olympics Health, made possible by the Golisano Foundation and in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is creating a world where people with intellectual disabilities have every opportunity to be healthy.

Inclusive health means people with intellectual disabilities are able to take full advantage of the same health programs and services available to people who do not have disabilities. Our athletes face significant challenges in accessing quality healthcare, fitness and wellness, resulting in pronounced health disparities and reduced life expectancy. Special Olympics’ health programming focuses on improving the physical and social-emotional wellbeing of people with intellectual disabilities by making healthcare and health systems more inclusive.

In Minnesota, we are committed to improving the health of individuals with intellectual disabilities by promoting fitness and providing free health screenings.

Fitness

Inclusive fitness is key to a healthy community. Special Olympics Minnesota offers a few different fitness programs for athletes, Unified partners and anyone interested!

Learn more about our fitness programs

Healthy Athletes

In an effort to combat health disparities and keep athletes performing at their best, Special Olympics Minnesota offers free health screenings and education at Healthy Athletes events.

Learn more about Healthy Athletes

In the news

Navigating Your Child’s Intellectual Disability Diagnosis
January 2023 – For many families, the moment their child receives an intellectual disability diagnosis can be scary and isolating. However, access to accurate, quality information and consistent support from Special Olympics can provide a sense of confidence and community, as they navigate this new world.

Participation in Special Olympics Linked to Reduced Risk of Depression Among Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
January 20, 2023 – New research led by researchers in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ontario Tech University has examined the depression status of more than 51,000 young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities from 1995 to 2015.

Maintaining Mental Health During the Holidays
November 2022 – A National Alliance of Mental Illness study showed that 64% of people with mental illness report holidays make their conditions worse. “For many people, the holiday season is not always the most wonderful time of the year,” said NAMI medical director Ken Duckworth.

Read more Inclusive Health news