Through Special Olympics Indiana-Ripley Ohio Dearborn Counties and its programs, one sees the potential – instead of limitations – of people with intellectual disabilities. We’ve witnessed the true Olympic spirit shine in the athletes we serve. You will be amazed by the ability of some athletes and inspired by the sheer courage and determination of others. Special Olympics Indiana-Ripley Ohio Dearborn is a not-for-profit organization that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in more than 13 Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, reaching 207 athletes across three counties in Southeastern Indiana. Special Olympics Indiana-Ripley Ohio Dearborn Counties is part of the international network of accredited Special Olympics Programs that reaches more than 4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities worldwide.
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. Beginning at age 8, anyone with an intellectual disability can participate in Special Olympics.
Within Special Olympics Indiana-Ripley Ohio Dearborn Counties our focus is the growth of our 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. While we currently serve more than 200 children and adults with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics Indiana-Ripley Ohio Dearborn still reaches only a fraction of the number of eligible athletes in the three-county service area.
It is estimated that in Ripley, Ohio and Dearborn counties there are approximately 2,500 individuals who are eligible for participation.
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.
The ultimate goal of Special Olympics is to help persons with intellectual disabilities participate as productive and respected members of society at large, by offering them a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents through sports training and competition, and by increasing the public’s awareness of their capabilities and needs.