Healthy Athletes initiative
The Healthy Athletes initiative is dedicated to providing health services and education to Special Olympics athletes, and changing the way health systems interact with people with intellectual disabilities. Through free health screenings, training for healthcare professionals, and evaluation of the health status of people with intellectual disability, Healthy Athletes has become a powerful public health organization worldwide.
Healthy Athletes components
- ۱- Fit Feet
- ۲- FUN Fitness
- ۳- Health Promotion
- ۴- Healthy Hearing
- ۵- MedFest
- ۶- Opening Eyes
- ۷- Special Smiles
Special Olympics Fit Feet is a free podiatric screening for participating Special Olympics athletes evaluating ankles, feet, lower extremity biomechanics, and proper shoe and sock gear.In partnership with the International Federation of Podiatrists (FIP) and the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, Fit Feet also provides referrals for those participating Special Olympics that require follow up services.
Special Olympics FUNfitness is a physical therapy screening program that is designed to assess and improve physical strength, flexibility and balance, educate athletes and parents on the importance of staying physically fit and flexible, and provide a hands-on opportunity for participating Special Olympics athletes to learn more about physical therapy. Developed in partnership with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), FUNfitness is led by volunteer physical therapists.
Special Olympics Health Promotion is a free screening that offers health information and advice in the areas of nutrition, sun safety, bone density, tobacco cessation, and physical fitness. Health Promotion is designed to convey and reinforce key concepts on healthy living, healthy lifestyle choices, and nation-specific health issues.
Special Olympics Healthy Hearing program is a free hearing screening designed to ensure proper audiological care for participating Special Olympics athletes. Led by volunteer professionals, Healthy Hearing also provides tests for cerumen (ear wax) and otoacoustic emissions tests.
Special Olympics MedFest is a free health screening that facilitates the acquisition of the standard sports physical that is required under the General Rules of Special Olympics, Inc. Led by volunteer physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and medical students, the MedFest screening consists of the following stations: medical history, height and weight, blood pressure, cardiology test, musculoskeletal test, orthopedic tests, abdominal evaluation, and a check out station.
The Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program is a vision and eye health screening. Led by volunteer vision care professionals, Opening Eyes is able to offer prescription eyewear, sunglasses, and sports goggles to Special Olympics athletes.
Special Olympics Special Smiles offers free dental screening, oral health information, and instructions on brushing and flossing properly to participating Special Olympics athletes, as well as preventative supplies like toothpaste and toothbrushes. Athletes who require follow up dental services are referred to local oral health professionals.