Through the Healthy Athletes® program, Special Olympics Colorado athletes receive free screenings in a fun, welcoming environment that removes the anxiety and fear individuals with ID often experience when faced with a visit to the doctor or dentist. Our mission is to improve each athlete’s health and fitness, leading to enhanced sports experience and improved well-being.
All of these programs are non-invasive screenings designed to offer additional support at no cost to our athletes and their families. Health care professionals and students are trained to provide the screenings in an effort to educate the professional community about the health needs and abilities of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The key objectives of Special Olympics Colorado Healthy Athletes are:
- Improve access and health care for Special Olympics athletes at event-based health screenings and make referrals to local health practitioners when appropriate.
- Train health care professionals and students in the health professions about the needs and care of people with intellectual disabilities.
- Collect, analyze and disseminate data on the health status and needs of people with intellectual disabilities.
- Advocate for improved health policies and programs for person with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics Colorado offers six disciplines:
Any SOCO athlete who has a valid medical form on file is welcome to participate in the Healthy Athletes Program.
Health Care Providers
In addition to providing health services and education to SOCO athletes, Healthy Athletes is also changing the way health systems interact with individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Health care professionals and volunteers receive free training on the specific needs of individuals with ID, allowing them to return to their practices and classrooms with increased knowledge of and compassion for these patients.
A special thanks to the over _____ professional volunteers who make the Healthy Athletes events possible each year. Volunteers include dentists, dental hygienists, optometrists, opticians, audiologists, physical therapists, podiatrists, physicians, nurses, physical therapy assistants, pharmacists, health educators, students and nutritionists from all over the state.
Are you a health care professional? Consider becoming a Healthy Athletes program volunteer. It’s fun and can be life-changing. Visit our ‘ways to volunteer’ page for opportunities or contact Leah Combs, Health and Wellness Coordinator, for more information.
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