Why Unified Sports?

While it is important for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) to have social experiences with their peers, oftentimes these experiences are elusive. For example, adolescents with ID are more likely to participate in activities with their family or on their own than with their peers. Research suggests that organized social activities, such as sports, may be necessary to facilitate social involvement of people with ID in their communities. Unified Sports provides people with and without ID the opportunity to play on the same sports team, creating a space for friendships, physical activity, and fun.

Engage in Unified Sports

Unified Sports is a fun, challenging experience for athletes and partners that allows them to improve their sports skills and be part of a team. (People without ID are called Unified Partners.)


  • Both athletes and partners improved their physical fitness after participating in Unified Sports.
  • Unified Sports helps athletes and partners build confidence and self-esteem.
Special Olympics DC offers Unified sport for both youth and adults in these sports: