Inclusion is the issue of our time. In an increasingly diverse world, the skillsets and mindsets to constructively engage those who are different are urgently needed. A future where stigma and exclusion no longer plague the marginalised requires a generational tipping point in development of these skills, beginning in schools.
Special Olympics has extensively studied the impact of UCS and found that developing inclusive learning environments produces better outcomes for all students, teachers, and communities. It helps all students develop SEL skills, which improves their sense of connection to their school community. Research shows dramatic declines in bullying, teasing, and offensive- language through participation in Unified Champion Schools. UCS students in Greece reported they are now nine times more likely to believe they can learn from people who are different from them . As one of its most important outcomes, UCS positively impacts students without intellectual disabilities, with over 90 percent of students without intellectual disabilities in India and Kenya reporting a mindset that is more inclusive of those with differences . In Mainland China, over 50 percent of students without intellectual disabilities reported improved social-emotional skill development after participating in Unified Champion
Current Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools engage over 1,000,000 students in 30,000 schools around the world. Over the course of the next 2-3 years we aim to reach 2,000,000 students in over 150,000 schools.
Special Olympics programming is in over 190 countries around the world. We encourage you to reach out to your local Special Olympics office and see how you can bring Unified Champion Schools to a school near you.