Unified Champion Schools

Our goal is to make Minnesota’s schools more inclusive.

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools is a movement aimed at empowering a generation of student leaders to change their school culture to be more inclusive. With sports as the foundation, the three-component model offers activities that equip students with tools and training to create teams, classrooms and entire schools of acceptance. Unified Champion Schools are schools where students with disabilities feel welcome and are meaningfully included in all school activities, opportunities and functions.

This is accomplished by implementing three components of Unified Champion Schools: Inclusive Student LeadershipUnified Sports, and Whole School Engagement. All three areas are crucial to shift the culture of a school towards inclusion. Once the three components are active, a school is considered a Unified Champion School.

In the News

Bethel University Breaks Down Barriers for Student Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities
November 8, 2022 – Unified Schools is a growing Special Olympics program in 60 countries supporting inclusive curriculum for diverse learners through sport—and it lets kids lead the way. There are millions of youth taking steps to rewrite and build not only their future, but the world’s future. 

What happens when a global program allows Special Olympics athletes and their classmates to lead? Bullying declines and grades improve.
September 29, 2022 – Unified Schools is a growing Special Olympics program in 60 countries supporting inclusive curriculum for diverse learners through sport—and it lets kids lead the way. There are millions of youth taking steps to rewrite and build not only their future, but the world’s future. 

Prep football: “Everybody wins” with Unified sports
September 23, 2022 – “The whole idea behind Unified is bringing special education and general education students together to do things inside of school and, ideally, outside of school,” Mike Doyle said. “COVID really put a big damper on that, but we’re starting to see things coming back now.”

Where we are

Interested in learning more?

Join the nearly 10,000 schools nation-wide who are making our world more inclusive.

For current Unified Champion Schools:

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH