Though conditions vary for people with intellectual disabilities worldwide, many have little or no access to healthcare that could drastically improve or even save their lives. Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® is the world’s largest public health program for people with intellectual disabilities, delivering basic levels of health information and care to thousands of people each year.
At Special Olympics events, Healthy Athletes® offers free screenings in several areas – vision, hearing, dental and fitness assessments – providing free care when possible and making referrals to local practitioners when appropriate. For some athletes, the screenings are the first time they have ever seen a doctor.
Beyond screenings, Healthy Athletes® also trains healthcare professionals about the needs and care of people with intellectual disabilities.
In Rhode Island, the following Healthy Athletes® initiatives are offered at the State Summer Games: Opening Eyes, Special Smiles, FUNfitness and Healthy Hearing.
A MedFest is typically offered in January for SORI athletes to have their medical forms completed.