Special Olympics Healthy Athletes®
Health Screenings, Education & Preventative Care for People with Intellectual Disabilities
People with intellectual disabilities experience substandard healthcare and access to services than others in their communities, and studies have found that their life expectancies are shorter. The Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® program provides free health screenings, educational resources and teaches preventative care to athletes through six wellness programs. Healthy Athletes® is designed to improve each athlete's ability to train and compete by providing resources to advance their overall quality of health and reinforce the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle.
Our vision is to create a world where people with intellectual disabilities are given the same opportunities to be as healthy as people without intellectual disabilities and, in doing so, allow Special Olympics athletes to perform their best both on and off the playing field.
Barriers to this vision include lack of access to quality healthcare, education and resources. Fortunately, with the help of our amazing volunteers and community members, we can overcome these hurdles to provide the Special Olympics athletes with access to healthcare resources.
Special Olympics Health is made possible by the vision and support of the Golisano Foundation.
Healthy Athletes - Get Involved!
Talk to Me: Treating People with Intellectual Disabilities with Respect
Heidi Adamski, PT, MS
Colleen Langlais, PT, MS
Carol Flaim, RN
Joyce Baiardi, RN
Dr. Thomas Hinchey
GLOBAL CLINICAL DIRECTOR
Dr. Susan Danberg
Dr. Chris Agro
Special Olympics Connecticut is looking for healthcare professionals to help us break down the barriers to quality healthcare for those with intellectual disabilities. Fill out the form to start a conversation on how you or your organization can get involved.
Be in the know – for the latest information on upcoming health screenings for athletes, follow-up care guidance and overall health & wellness tips, check out the athlete’s resources below:
Upcoming Health Screenings
Unified Sports Fall Classic
Saturday, September 8th
Softball venue - Connecticut Sportsplex, North Branford
SunSafety with Athlete Health Leader, Angie D'Amico
Bocce venue - Scalzi Park, Stamford
Healthy Hearing Education with Sacred Heart University
Family Health Forum
Saturday, October 13th 9:00am-1:00pm
Goodwin College, East Hartford
Join Special Olympics Connecticut for the first Family Health Forum presented by Anthem Foundation. The Family Health Forum (FHF) initiative is designed to engage families and caregivers of those with intellectual disabilities in Special Olympics and offer an environment where parents and caregivers can gain direct access to health information, resources, and support. The event will include vendors, breakout sessions, and hands-on cooking demonstrations for athletes.
Click HERE to register!
9:00-9:30am Check in
9:30am Opening Remarks & Qi Gong with Gwen Valencis
10:00-11:00am Caring for the Caregiver
Presenter: Todd Johnson
10am-12:30pm Cooking Matters (athletes only)
Athletes will learn hands-on how to prepare a healthy meal with simple and fresh ingredients.
Instructor: Gina Vecchitto
11:45am-12:45pm Breakout Sessions (choose one)
Moving Into Adult Healthcare – What Parents Need to Know
Presenter: Linda Rammler M.Ed., Ph.D.
Presenter: Oak Hill Connecticut
Community Health Center Association of Connecticut
Connecticut Family Support Network
Department of Developmental Services – Dental Services
Disability Rights Connecticut
PLAN of Connecticut
Special Olympics Connecticut - Athlete Health Leaders Team
UCONN Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
Yale Cancer Center – Smilow Cancer Hospital
Yale Child Study Center – Autism
For more information, please contact Caitlin Daikus, Senior Coordinator, Health Programs at 203-230-1201 ext. 238.
Health & Wellness Education
*Please check back periodically for added topics.
Healthcare Provider Resources
This website is solely provided as an information source for our Healthy Athletes® program, listing healthcare providers who may be willing to follow up with our athletes who have been screened in Special Smiles or Fit Feet.
Special Olympics Connecticut and Special Olympics, Inc. (collectively “Special Olympics”) make no representations about these healthcare providers and recommends that you make an independent investigation of any healthcare provider that you choose. Special Olympics does not recommend or endorse any physician that can be found using this website, and Special Olympics does not verify the credentials, qualifications, or abilities of any healthcare provider that may be found by using this website.
Special Olympics disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for particular purpose. Without limiting the foregoing, Special Olympics does not warrant or represent that any information provided by any healthcare provider listed on this website is accurate or complete.
By using this website, you agree to these Terms and Conditions of Use.