Special Olympics Indiana is a not-for-profit organization that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in more than 20 Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, reaching nearly 11,000 athletes across Indiana. Special Olympics Indiana is part of the international network of accredited Special Olympics Programs that reaches more than 3 million athletes with intellectual disabilities worldwide.
Special Olympics Indiana receives no federal- or state-appropriated funds, is not a United Way Agency, and relies entirely on corporate, civic and individual donations.
For more information about Special Olympics Indiana, call (800) 742-0612.
To provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, offering them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
To empower people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential and develop their skills through year-round sports training and competition. As a result, Special Olympics athletes become fulfilled and productive members of their families and the communities in which they live. Special Olympics is an experience that is energizing, healthy, skillful, welcoming and joyful.
Special Olympics Athlete Goal
The goal of Special Olympics Indiana is for all persons with intellectual disabilities to have the chance to become useful and productive citizens who are accepted and respected in their communities.
Founded in 1969, Special Olympics Indiana (SO Indiana) provides a wide variety of opportunities for individuals with all levels of intellectual disabilities across all age ranges. SO Indiana is one of more than 50 Special Olympics affiliates in North America. Over the past 42 years, the organization has grown steadily to now include more than 11,000 athletes, approximately 10,000 volunteers and 13 full-time staff.
The Special Olympics movement is distinct in its vision to empower all people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential and develop their skills through year-round sports training and competition. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 170 million people, or three percent of the world’s population, have intellectual disabilities—the largest disability population in the world. Intellectual disability knows no boundaries. It cuts across the lines of racial, ethnic, educational, social and economic backgrounds, and it can occur in any family.
Within SO Indiana, our focus is the growth of our year-round programs so that we can better serve our existing athletes and reach out to those athletes who have not yet had an opportunity to participate locally in Special Olympics. With the unifying power of sports at its core, SO Indiana has grown to be a movement not about “them,” but about all of “us.” We are a movement that invites the world to think, feel and act differently about everything. We believe in creating more unified communities—places where each person regardless of ability or disability, is accepted, respected and welcomed, and where each individual contributes to the strength and vibrancy of the whole.