Special Olympics Issues Report on the Impact of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Initiative to show Need for Reauthorization of the Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act of 2004
Vice President Biden Visits 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games; Healthy Athletes Venue
U.S. Vice President
The Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program was launched in 1997 to provide health screenings for athletes at the local, national, and international level. The Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act of 2004, which provides funding for the Healthy Athletes program through the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education and State, is up for reauthorization this year.
The report, titled "Serving Athletes, Families and the Community" finds that there is a strong connection between Special Olympics participation and health physical activity. However, the statistics are not so favorable with health hurdles routinely handled by the public in general, including vision, hearing, and dental care. Healthy Athletes employs seven unique and free health screening options, educational information and referral for follow-up care. Services are provided by health care professionals who volunteer their time and talents to benefit this otherwise medically under-served population.
Every athlete competing in the 2009 World Games will have an opportunity to receive free health screening through the Healthy Athletes programs. Since its official launch in 1997, Healthy Athletes has provided more than 700,000 health screenings to Special Olympics athletes worldwide, trained more than 76,000 health care professionals in nearly 100 countries in every part of the globe on the specific health concerns faced by people with intellectual disabilities (ID), and given more than 50,000 pairs of eyeglasses to those that need them free of charge.
"Special Olympics has a global reach not only with participation in the
World Games, but every day, in every part of the world," said
The Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act, HR-3151, authorized
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by
promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and
without intellectual disabilities. Through year-round sports training and
athletic competition and other related programs for nearly 3 million children
and adults with intellectual disabilities in more than 180 countries, Special
Olympics has created a model community that celebrates people's diverse gifts.
Founded in 1968 by
SOURCE Special Olympics
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