The success of Special Olympics Colorado’s (SOCO) health programming depends on the support of volunteers, partners, and sponsors. SOCO’s Health and Wellness staff work to build an environment for positive interaction between health care professionals, other volunteers, Special Olympics athletes and their families at each event. Products, equipment and financial support from governmental and philanthropic sponsors additionally helps the program grow and build community inclusiveness.
Many health issues of people with intellectual disabilities remain undetected due to diagnostic overshadowing, where health problems are falsely attributed to a person’s intellectual disability. For example, a man with an intellectual disability could be legally blind for 40 years and go undiagnosed because the doctor did not know how to adapt an eye chart and family members thought that his trouble reading was part of his disability.
- Athlete Benefits: Athletes who participate in our health and wellness programming receive new resources and targeted preventative care, improved access to health care, and increased number of trained health care professionals across the state to address their health needs. Overall the programing aims to increase quality of life.
- Volunteer Benefits: Special Olympics health programs not only serve athletes but also train health care professionals. After working with Healthy Athletes®, these dedicated professionals and students go back to their practices and classrooms with increased knowledge of and compassion for people with intellectual disabilities.
- Receive CE Credits! Dental Volunteers assisting with Special Smiles screenings will receive certificates and continuing education/participation credit hours through the Academy of General Dentistry.
- Gain Hours for School! There are many roles for non-clinical / general volunteers and our health and wellness programming is a great way experience this field while completing school requirements.
Ways to Volunteer:
For internship inquiries and to apply contact Leah Combs, Health and Wellness Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Corporations and organizations who partner with Special Olympics Colorado can experience a range of benefits, including improved employee morale, increased sales and stronger connections to the local communities in which they operate. If Health doesn’t align with your mission, but you are interested in becoming a Special Olympics Colorado Partner, ask us about our sport and education initiatives!