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Athlete Leadership


Athlete Leadership allows Special Olympics athletes to shape the future of the Special Olympics movement and ensure that people with intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to become leaders within the organization as well as in the community. 


The Athlete Input Council (AIC) is a Special Olympics program geared specifically towards SOAZ athletes. This group of athletes is in every area of the state and discusses how Special Olympics Arizona can best serve athletes. These groups discuss what they like at the competitions, changes that can be made to improve the athlete experience and identify best practices moving forward. The AIC is an exceptional way to make the athlete’s voices heard within our organization and throughout our state!


The Athlete Employment Project (AEP) is a project in which Special Olympics Arizona helps mentor and educate athletes on different workplace behaviors. The benefits of this program are that companies can hire our Special Olympics Arizona athletes and know that they have already received great training on what it takes to be an outstanding employee. Research has shown that people with intellectual disabilities make some of the most loyal and hardworking employees. This means that SOAZ athletes can provide a lower employee turnover rate because they are devoted employees who tend to stay with a job for a longer period of time. Companies that hire people with intellectual disabilities tend to have a more loyal customer base and will have an influential impact in helping open the door for more companies to hire these hardworking individuals. Also, the Athlete Employment Project provides companies the opportunity to watch our Athletes grow on the job as well as a person through their time of employment.

Resources for Athletes:


Additional Job Websites:


The Special Olympics Advocacy Resource (SOAR) Program provides advocacy-related services to Special Olympics Arizona athletes. The program forms partnerships between Special Olympics athletes and SOAR Champions, who can assess needs, coordinate with providers, follow up for satisfaction, and build a link to the business world. The SOAR Champions work with the athlete and their family to assess their needs and help connect them with local program partners and other available resources to fulfill their needs. For assistance with SOAR, please print this SOAR Athlete Interest Form and send to

SOAR offers SOAZ athletes resources in areas such as:

  • Preparation of a will, trust, or estate planning
  • Guardianship planning
  • Landlord or housing issues
  • Medical or education rights
  • Drafting a resume, identifying job opportunities, or preparing for an interview
  • Planning finances


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