Special Education

Interest Booms in Pairing Disabled and Nondisabled Youth-Athletes

By Bryan Toporek — July 02, 2012 1 min read

The Special Olympics’ Unified Sports program, which aims to bring together youth athletes with disabilities and their nondisabled peers, has experienced a recent burst in popularity, my colleague Nirvi Shah reports today.

I won’t spoil her whole article, but here are a few highlights:

• More than 2,000 schools in 42 states have Unified Sports teams. Ideally, the teams are comprised of roughly half students with disabilities, who can be partnered off with nondisabled athletes.

• About 22,000 students across the country are involved in Unified Sports teams.

• The U.S. Department of Education has contributed more than $30 million to a Special Olympics initiative known as Project Unify, established in 2008. It aims to “foster an inclusive culture” beyond school sports for students with disabilities, according to Nirvi.

Again, I don’t want to steal all of Nirvi’s thunder here. So, make sure you check out her story for more information about the Unified Sports program.

And for more about sports for students with disabilities, check out this category page from this very blog.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.