NOTE FOR FIRST-TIME APPLICANTS: Completing the application does not automatically guarantee a spot on a Howard County Spcial Olympics team COMPLETING THE APPLICATION DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY MAKE YOU A HOWARD COUNTY ATHLETE,
Individuals are eligible to participate in Special Olympics provided they are eight year of age or older, have been identified by an agency or professional as having an intellectual disability, and have a completed Application for Participation and a current Medical Form on file with the program.
As a global organization, Special Olympics has adopted “intellectual disabilities” as a widely accepted and less objectionable term for what is referred to in clinical settings as “mental retardation.” Although the movement has updated its terminology, Special Olympics continues to serve the same population and its mission remains unchanged. In the context of the Special Olympics movement, the term intellectual disabilities is synonymous with mental retardation; other terms–including cognitive delay, intellectual handicaps, learning disability, mental disabilities and mental handicaps–are used around the world.
A person is considered to have an intellectual disability for purposes of determining his or her eligibility to participate in Special Olympics if that person satisfies any one of the following requirements:
However, persons whose functional limitations are based solely on a physical, behavioral, or emotional disability, or a specific learning disability or sensory disability are not eligible to participate.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, donors, and volunteers who work fundraisers, there is no cost involved with Special Olympics competition participation. However, there may be a minimal fee for training depending on the sport