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Unified Sports


At Wapato Middle School, Project Unify is bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities through a recreational Unified Sports program. So far, Life Skills and Leadership class participants have learned to play football, badminton, and volleyball together. Students have also attended a Youth Summit, created cards for staff, and participated in classroom projects together. Students from both classes have not only gained friendships, but are learning acceptance and empathy on a whole new level. Special Olympics Unified Sports® reminds us, “Team sports bring people together. Half a million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way.”

Through putting such a program in place, leaders contribute to the social, emotional, and intellectual safety of the school staff and students (Safety, 2.2) and address barriers to inclusion and access (Closing the Gap, 8.1). To get started, identify key staff who may be great partners with you in this work and check out the plethora of downloadable Unified Sports Resources. Note that while there are competitive models for Unified Sports, recreational models appropriate for a variety of school-based implementation options are supported here too! #PlayUnified