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Youth Unified Sports®: Young people with and without intellectual disability in school-based sports teams PowerPoint Presentation
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Youth Unified Sports®: Young people with and without intellectual disability in school-based sports teams

Youth Unified Sports®: Young people with and without intellectual disability in school-based sports teams

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Youth Unified Sports®: Young people with and without intellectual disability in school-based sports teams

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  1. Youth Unified Sports®:Young people with and without intellectual disability in school-based sports teams Martha Jo Braycich Director, Organizational Development, Foundations & Public Institutions

  2. Special Olympics Aims Create positive public attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities and Integrate people with intellectual disabilities in society … through sports.

  3. Special Olympics Youth Unified Sports®: Definition An internationally tested program that combines an equal numbers of youths with intellectual disability (athletes) and youths without intellectual disability (partners), aged 12-25, on teams for regular training and competition

  4. Special Olympics Europe Eurasia Youth Unified Sports: Goals • Sports as a platform for the integration and personal development of young people with intellectual disability in local communities, • While giving educators and coaches cost-effective and easy to implement tools to facilitate inclusion, • And building alliances of various community partners to link special and mainstream environments.

  5. Youth Unified Sports: Framework • Mainstream and special schools; local clubs • Classroom-based educational component (SO Get Into It) • Ability and age grouping • Consistent training and competition plan • Meaningful exchanges to reflect on experience

  6. Impact Study on Youth Unified Football Pilot Project 2005/2006 • In cooperation with University of Massachusetts Boston/Special Olympics Global Collaborating Center • Interviews with 735 athletes and partners, aged 15-17, five countries* • Assess impact on promoting greater understanding and acceptance and facilitating social relationships, as well as sports experience *Austria, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia

  7. Partner Gains in Understanding of People with Intellectual Disabilities

  8. Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia Youth Unified Sports today • 26,000 participants in 1200 schools in 40 countries in Europe/Eurasia (2010) including: • CEE/CIS: 11,000 participants in 500 schools in 11countries • Mainly Football and Basketball • Main partners: EU, Vodafone Foundation, UEFA, FIBA Europe; Mattel Children’s Foundation

  9. Youth Unified Impact Study 2010 conducted by the University Of Ulster/Belfast • Evaluate the strengths of Unified Sports as a model for the community integration of young people with intellectual disability • Document the barriers and facilitators to community integration generally and within particular cultural and social contexts

  10. Youth Unified Impact Study 2010 conducted by the University Of Ulster/Belfast Five countries: Serbia, Poland, Ukraine, Germany and Hungary Football and Basketball Interviews with 275 participants Five universities as partners in the participating countries

  11. Main findings • Postive personal development in terms of communication and socialization skills, confidence and self esteem. • For athletes the development of social networks and connections in the community are largely attributable to participation in Unified Sports. • Athletes experience how it feels to be valued for their abilities rather than devalued through perceptions of disability. • Athlete participation has led to employment and educational opportunities.

  12. Youth Unified: challenges and tasks Break through traditional ways of thinking Gender imbalance among particpants Participant retention and transition Program expansion Attract more institutional partners

  13. One athlete summed up his experience on a Unified team, saying: “We all can play in the same schoolyard and live together in the same world.”

  14. Thank You! mbraycich@specialolympics.org www.specialolympics-eu.org

  15. http://www.specialolympicsee.eu/ee_vodaphone-supports-special-olympics.aspxhttp://www.specialolympicsee.eu/ee_vodaphone-supports-special-olympics.aspx