Promoting Social Inclusion
The Special Olympics Arizona Unified Program promotes social inclusion for individuals with disabilities and those without disabilities through sports, arts, health, youth and adult leadership, and other self-advocacy programs and campaigns.
Team sports bring people together. Special Olympics Unified Sports teams do that too, and much more. Half a million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way.
UNIFIED CHAMPION SCHOOLS®
Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools is an education-based program that utilizes sports and education programs as a catalyst for inclusion by activating young people to develop school communities where all youth are agents of change fostering respect, dignity, and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. Learn more about Unified Champion Schools®
AIA UNIFIED SPORTS® (High School)
AIA Unified Sports® is about inclusion and recognition of the Special Olympics athletes on their high school campus. Unified Sports® athletes have the opportunity to enjoy sports competitions and represent their school as an official team on campus. The AIA Unified Sports program offers individuals with and without disabilities a typical high school sports experience. For more information on AIA Unified Sports click here.
Young Athletes is a unique sport and play program for children with intellectual disabilities. The focus is on fun activities that are important to mental and physical growth. Children ages 2 to 7 enjoy games and activities that develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Young Athletes is an early introduction to sports and to the world of Special Olympics. The children learn new things, play and have lots of fun!
With Special Olympics Arizona, we see inclusion moving beyond just sports and are launching a Unified Arts program this year! Unified Arts will be hosting opportunities for people with and without intellectual disabilities to be engaged through art, music, dance, photography, theatre, gardening, and even fashion and culinary arts! Everyone can compete in monthly Unified Arts Contests for prizes and recognition statewide! If you are interested in getting involved with our Unified Arts program, please email Brittany Meola Brittany@specialolympicsarizona.org
STATE YOUTH ACTIVATION COMMITTEE
The State Youth Activation Committee (State YAC) is about activating youth to promote school communities where all young people are agents of change fostering respect, dignity, and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. Most importantly the goal is to be advocates for inclusion and HAVE FUN doing it! State YAC is a group of high school students with and without intellectual disabilities who support Unified programs including Unified Sports, Spread the Word To End The Word, Minute That Matters, Healthy Athletes, and State & Area Sports Competitions. State YAC members develop strategies, lead initiatives, and organize events that promote the respect, inclusion, and acceptance of all people, regardless of abilities. Email Katie DeVenuto Katie@specialolympicsarizona.org with any questions or to get involved.
If you graduated high school and still want to be involved, we would love to help you promote your voice and grow your leadership skills! We have opportunities for college students and young adult professionals to come together and help promote social inclusion at their colleges and places of business. Whether you want to intern with SOAZ, join GMT, start Unified at your campus, or become an ambassador for inclusion, we will support you and work cohesively to establish unique ways to raise awareness locally and empower others to #PlayUnified! For more information, email Katie DeVenuto Katie@specialolympicsarizona.org