An Evaluation of Special Olympics Pilot Implementation of Project Unify in Five Countries.

Sandra Dowling, David Hassan, Roy McConkey

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


Project Unify is a strategy developed by Special Olympics to bring together youth with and without intellectual disabilities through a range of sports and awareness raising activities. The aim of the programme is to encourage the routine acceptance and inclusion of young people with intellectual disabilities, to challenge negative attitudes towards them and to develop confidence, advocacy and leadership skills amongst young people who take part in the programme. Originally conceived as a school based programme and implemented in the USA over the past five years, the expansion of the programme into Europe and India will see it move beyond school based activities to also include SO programmes and sports clubs as it’s base, whilst continuing to work closely with schools. This report describes an evaluation of the pilot implementation of Special Olympics’ Project Unify, which was undertaken by a team from the Regional Research Collaborating Centre for Special Olympics Europe Eurasia based at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. Over an 18-month period Project Unify was piloted in four European countries Serbia, Italy, Romania and Austria and also in India. The evaluation ran in parallel with the pilot and concluded in June 2013. The overarching aim of the evaluation was to assess the impact of Special Olympics’ Project Unify in promoting positive attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities, encouraging leadership skills amongst participants as well as promoting social inclusion and developing opportunities for advocacy amongst people with intellectual disabilities.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUnknown Publisher
Number of pages66
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


  • Project Unify
  • Special Olympics
  • Sport
  • Intellectual Disability


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