Special Olympics Kansas Will Host State’s Largest Health Screening Event for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

Special Olympics Kansas will host Healthy Athletes® screenings at Maize South High School from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 3rd. Offered in a welcoming, family-friendly, and fun environment, these screenings educate individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families and caregivers on healthy lifestyle choices. Additionally, Healthy Athlete screenings, run by our amazing partners and professionals, help to increase knowledge of best practices in caring for people with intellectual disabilities.


More than 500 people are expected to take advantage of the free services in the following disciplines:

  • FunFitness
  • FitFeet
  • Opening Eyes
  • Healthy Hearing
  • Special Smiles
  • Health Promotions


In 1997, Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® began offering free health screenings and education to Special Olympics athletes in a welcoming, fun environment. Since then, more than 2 million free health screenings have been conducted and close to 300,000 health professionals and students have been trained to treat people with intellectual disabilities.


Still, people with intellectual disabilities have poorer health than the general population.

  • In 2013, the global adult obesity rate was 33.9% for adults with intellectual disabilities examined by Special Olympics, compared to 12% of the general population.1
  • In 2013, 46.0% of adults with intellectual disabilities in the United States examined by Special Olympics were obese, compared to 35.9% in the general population.2
  • People with intellectual disabilities were more than twice as likely to die before the age of 50 than the general population (22% compared to 9%), a United Kingdom study found. The majority of these deaths in the general population were due to lifestyle factors. In contrast, premature deaths of people with intellectual disabilities were primarily due to delays or problems investigating, diagnosing, and treating illnesses and with receiving appropriate care.3


“Healthy Athletes is not only a program where we work to identify health issues in our athletes that may not have been caught otherwise,” said Special Olympics Kansas Health and Fitness Manager, Erin McDaniel. “It’s also a program for healthcare students and professionals to increase knowledge of best practices in caring for and communicating with people with intellectual disabilities.”


Individuals interested in volunteering can go to https://www.givepulse.com/event/371197-2023-Special-Olympics-Kansas-Summer-Games-Healthy-Athletes.


  1. World Health Organization (2013). Overweight and obesity. Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/gho/ ncd/risk_factors/overweight/en/index.html
  2. Centers for Disease Control (2012). Selected health conditions and risk factors: United States, selected years 1988-1994 through 2009-2010. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2012/063.pdf
  3. Hollins, S., & Tuffrey-Wijne, I. (2013). Meeting the needs of patients with learning disabilities. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 346. 67 Bainbridge, D. (2008).The antecedents and impacts of participation in Special Olympics Healthy Athletes on the perceptions and professional practice of health care professionals: A preliminary investigation. Washington, DC: Special Olympics, Inc.