Inclusive
Health

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.

On a global scale, Special Olympics Health, made possible by the Golisano Foundation, and in the United States 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 ID are able to take full advantage of the same health programs and services available to people who do not have ID. Currently, people with ID face significant challenges in accessing quality health care and obtaining opportunities that promote fitness and wellness, resulting in pronounced health disparities and reduced life expectancy. Special Olympics’ health programming focuses on improving the physical and social-emotional well-being of people with ID by increasing inclusion in health care, wellness and health systems for Special Olympics athletes and others with ID.

Here in Minnesota, we are committed to improving the health of individuals with ID through promoting fitness and providing free health screenings.

Fitness

Partner with Special Olympics Minnesota to promote inclusive fitness.

Healthy Athletes

Special Olympics Minnesota offers free health screenings and education for our athletes.

In the News

Health Screening Changes a Life: Jad’s Story
April 9, 2022 – As a young child, Jad was slower than others in terms of learning. He was also physically frail and had breathing difficulties. When he was 8, he received a free health screening conducted by Special Olympics Thailand. The doctors were shocked to discover that Jad had major cyanotic heart disease.

Special Olympics Alaska Athlete Uses Platform to Promote Healthy Lifestyle
January 27, 2022 – Three times a week, the Special Olympics Alaska headquarters is transformed into a homemade studio, resembling the closest thing to what a television personality would use. Ayesha Abdul-Jillil sits behind a red tablecloth-draped table with the Special Olympics logo across the front. She’s ready to host “Afternoons with Ayesha,” helping athletes stay fit and connected virtually.

Special Olympics Minnesota partners with Boger Dental to pilot free dental care program
April 13, 2022 – Earlier this year, three Special Olympics Minnesota athletes participated in a free dental care pilot with Boger Dental in Plymouth, Minnesota. The goal of this pilot was to partner with a local dental office to show that while visiting the dentist can be intimidating, it can also be an inclusive and empowering experience.