Special Olympics Kentucky’s Healthy Athletes Program
Description: Special Olympics International began the Healthy Athletes Initiative in 1997 with the mission is to improve, through better health and fitness, the athlete’s ability to train and compete. The program has grown to include the specialty areas of dentistry, optometry, audiology, physical therapy, podiatry, mental well-being, and heath promotion. The Health & Wellness Initiative at UKHDI has built a strong partnership with Special Olympics Kentucky (SOKY) in providing the resources, personnel, and services needed to promote and grow the health promotion discipline within Healthy Athletes. The team utilizes the existing SOKY resources while also incorporating Universal Design strategies to make health promotion and education understandable, engaging, and exciting. With two staff serving as trained clinical directors in Health Promotion along with the volunteers across the state, the team is able to not only provide accessible health information to athletes twice per year at Winter and Summer State Games, but also provide training to health care professionals and students about the unique needs of individuals with disabilities.