Dedicated to providing health screenings and education to athletes while changing the way health professionals interact with people with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics is the world’s largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities, providing access to free health services for a population with significant, unmet health needs. Often, those with intellectual disabilities and their families don’t understand what is needed to optimize their health. Healthy Athletes provides accessible information, resources, systems and policies at the individual, community, national and global levels that support them in realizing sustainable healthy and productive lives.
Special Olympics Healthy Athletes provides accessible information, resources, systems and policies at the individual, community, national and global levels that support Special Olympics Southern California athletes in realizing sustainable healthy and productive lives.
Team Wellness is a unique health and wellness program designed for individuals with and without intellectual disabilities. Participants are led by a trained Wellness Coach and receive guidance, direction, and encouragement.
WHY IT MATTERS
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), despite the severe need and higher health risk, people with intellectual disabilities are denied health services, community interventions, and there is a lack of targeted interventions and programs for the population. Health care professionals who volunteer with Special Olympics have found that Special Olympics athletes are at increased risk of secondary health issues:
37% needed new eyewear prescription
23% have low bone density
26% failed hearing tests
48% have at least one kind of skin or nail condition
MedFest was created to offer the physical exam that all athletes need prior to participating in Special Olympics sports programming. Through the support of Kaiser Permanente, these exams are conducted by licensed physicians at no cost to athletes and their families. They are open to existing athletes, as well as those that may be new, or interested in participating in Special Olympics.