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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. Learn more about Unified Sports®


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®


SOAZ/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 SOAZ/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! Learn more about Young Athletes™


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 complete the online Unified Arts Survey by clicking here and email Angelica Raya ( For more information on the goals and initiatives of our new Unified Arts Program, click here.


The Unified Arts Committee is currently being formed to rally support from those who truly lead this industry! This committee will work with art professionals, Special Olympics Athletes, Unified Partners, volunteers, and SOAZ staff to help develop art programs, resources, and opportunities for Special Olympics Athletes, Unified Partners, and communities on a “pro bono” basis. This committee is made up of sub-committees that have individualized focuses and can collaborate to fulfill the goals of the Special Olympics Arizona Unified Arts Programs. If you are interested in joining the Unified Arts Committee, complete the Unified Arts Committee Candidate Profile by clicking here and then send your completed form to Angelica Raya ( for review and follow-up.


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. Learn more about Youth Activation


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 Angelica Raya (


Students! Do you want Special Olympics to come your school on lunch to play unified games like bag toss, ping pong, basketball, and more? WHO WOULDN’T? The Unified Fan Activation Truck comes fully stocked with Unified Sports like Corn Toss, Ladder Ball, Strider Bikes, Hula Hoops, and a R-Word Banner for your entire campus to sign throughout the event! We will have music playing and might even challenge your students, with and without intellectual disabilities, to a Unified Dance Off for a SPECIAL PRIZE! Don’t worry, we won’t forget to bring tons of giveaways, too! Are you interested? Book the Unified Fan Activation Truck by completing the Unified Fan Activation Survey by clicking here!


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